Every year, incoming freshman around the world come to St. John’s University, ready to exercise their newly acquired autonomy from home. It is no surprise that an 18-year-old living on their own is excited for no more curfews or paranoid parents. However, this new excitement can cause a distraction and the student can often forget the purpose of school all together/studying.
Students who live on campus can feel distracted by the social environment, sometimes claiming that living on campus is having a negative effect on their grades.
“Being surrounded by people 24-7 may be enjoyable at times, but can be burdening to my studies,” said Ella Soltz, a sophomore dorming at St. John’s.
Karina Castro, another sophomore who dorms, admits to being distracted by friends, and fears that her social life is jeopardizing her GPA.
Commuting students, such as sophomore Jonathan Shalamov, feel that living off campus has had a better effect on their grades. He believes that if he were to live on campus, he would be more concerned with what his friends are doing than his grades.
“I would not be able to set my priorities straight,” said Shalamov.
As a commuting freshman, Daniela Elishayev admits that living on campus would cause her to worry about “being at the best parties” as opposed to studying. There are some positives to dorming.
An example for students who live on campus is that it is easier to be involved in campus activities and organizations. St. John’s hosts many events and is home to many organizations. However, some commuter students feel it is useless to travel to campus merely for an event.
Nadia Kalantarova, a commuting junior, believes she would attend more events and take part in more organizations if she lived on campus.
“Because I am a commuter student, I prefer not to waste my time going to school for the event,” she said. “It is a hassle for me.”
On the other hand, Castro says that she is very much involved in all the University has to offer, joining organizations such as Voices of Victory on campus.
Making the effort to come to campus is somewhat tedious for commuters, especially due to parking availability. Shalamov and Elishayev both realized that parking is more accessible only during certain hours, specifically the beginning of the day.
“When I come for my 7:30 a.m. class, parking is not such an issue, but when I take a class at 4:45 p.m., it is nearly impossible for me to find parking,” said Elishayev.
While Kalantarova is frustrated with the parking regulations at St. John’s, availability is not what bothers her.
“All gates, besides for Gate 6, close at 11 PM,” said Kalantarova. “Sometimes I stay late to study in the library and do not realize it is already 12 a.m. It annoys me that I need to drive my car all the way to Gate 6 when I entered using Gate 2.”
There are advantages and disadvantages that come with each living arrangement. While resident students gain the long awaited independence and freedom of living on their own, commuters have the advantages of being close to home.
As the great Sicilian novelist Leonardo Sciascia said, “to each his own.”