Upper classmen are choosing to live on campus
Ruoyu Wang has started his day the same way everyday for the last term. The University of Oregon junior wakes up at 7:30 a.m. for his 8:00 a.m. business class, heads downstairs to grab a quick, healthy breakfast and walks to class.
A year ago, he wasn’t able to get to his early morning classes on time because he lived in an apartment off-campus.
“I didn’t have time to cook, so sometimes I’d even skip breakfast,” Wang said. “Then I’d have to drive to school, find a parking spot, so by that time, I’d be half an hour late to class.”
The morning struggle wasn’t the only hassle Wang encountered living off campus. He also struggled to find a quiet environment to study. His academic performance quickly dropped due to lack of sleep and an unhealthy lifestyle.
“My neighbors were partying or playing loud music day and night,” Wang said. “Sometimes I’d sleep in the library or on my friends’ couch just because it’s so noisy.”
His problems grew. After Wang almost failed one of his classes, he decided to move back to a place that he knew very well — Wang applied to come back to UO Housing and live on-campus again.
“It’s just much more convenient,” Wang said. “Great atmosphere, everyone respects each other. It’s just great.”
Wang is not the only one who sees the benefits of living in residence halls. Despite the growing number of off-campus student housing, UO Housing has seen a significant amount of returning students in the last couple of years. This year, 237 students have signed up for the program “The Sophomore Experience.” This is a 53 percent increase since 2011.
The program allows all upper-division and transfer students to live together in Barnhart hall, located slightly off-campus. Each room has its own private bathroom. The seven-story residence hall also includes a dining hall run from morning to night to serve student needs.
UO Housing Residence Life Coordinator Megan FinCannon said the program has been an opportunity for the university to support and connect upper-division students in figuring out the paths going forward in their college career.
During a student’s first year, the goal is to help smooth the transition between high school and university; in the second year, the university tries to help students determine their career as well as find internship opportunities.
“Students that live on campus are all taken care of,” FinCannon said. “Many students come back because they want to relate to those among them, they like the space we have here, and they love the service from R.A.”
Returning students have a choice to choose their rooms until the end of this month, UO Housing director of marketing and communication Leah Andrews said.
Living on-campus is not for every student. Haoming Li is a UO freshman studying music theory. After a couple months living in Walton hall on campus, Li decided to move out with his friends.
“There are just too many rules, meetings, and gatherings,” Li said. “I’d like more freedom and space so I can learn how to take care of myself.”
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