Campus Life and a College Search

Everyone remembers their college years not just for the education, but because of the friends they made and the activities and events they participated in. Campus life plays a huge role in the college experience. When a student begins their college search, on campus life should play a major role in their decision-making process.

Any student should determine whether or not they will require dormitory accommodation. Some schools have limited numbers of rooms available, and can recommend area apartment buildings and owners for those who do not get into a dorm. While many larger colleges are surrounded by private homes that are available for rent, the costs can be prohibitive or not covered by college or academic loans. It is important for a student and their family to address their housing requirement prior to settling on a school. This can be a costly, frustrating and disruptive issue if not dealt with very early in a college search.

Dormitory life is radically different from school to school, with some colleges offering co-ed living or gender specific housing. Some schools make two, three and four person rooms available, and some will even offer single apartment style dwellings. All of these options should be reviewed when considering a student’s study needs, personal issues and budget. For example, if a student finds they must leave their room in order to study, a dormitory setting may not be the best choice for academic success. Instead a student such as this might want to explore a single housing option, or an independent “studio” style apartment near the campus.

Another important element of campus life includes the kinds of extra curricular activities available. Many people choose a certain school because of a sporting team or club affiliated with the college. This can play a major role in the student’s life while in college, and for many it can affect their post-graduate years. For example, a strong career in a sporting team, or teams, can help a graduate get a job with a school or professional team after they complete their graduate work.

Fraternity and sorority availability is also important to many students when beginning a college search. The social connections made in these organizations last a lifetime. Many people stay in touch with their “brothers” or “sisters” and many find that the affiliations can literally “open doors” for them in a professional or career capacity.

For some students who choose a gender specific environment, campus life presents a whole new world. A student at an all-girls college might find that they are more dedicated or focused on their studies than ever before. They may find that a certain degree of shyness or reluctance to participate in certain group functions or activities is eliminated by the gender specific community. This is a serious consideration when beginning a college search, and should not be taken lightly. Some people do well under such conditions and other do not. This should be openly discussed with counselors and parents before enrolling in such a school or college.

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