Q: Housing decisions to stay on campus are due the second week of February. I’m a freshman, and I think I want to stay on campus, but all my friends are moving elsewhere. I feel weird being the only one left. Should I try to move off campus?
A: At last, the time has come for housing angst. Making decisions in college is difficult, especially when the decision regards substantial money sums and a place to nap. As a big decision, make sure it is your decision – do not let what everyone else is doing influence your choice.
I remember being in the same situation. My friends signed leases all over Knoxville while I was still trying to find the trash room in my hallway. I could not fathom moving off campus when I could barely find my way around my own dorm, let alone campus or Knoxville.
Sure, I felt weird being older and wanting to stay. But it was the right decision for me. I like being able to roll out of bed and walk straight to class. I like avoiding the famed University of Tennessee parking ticket often granted to commuters – commuters dismally late for class who opt to park on a sidewalk. I like having a place to nap between classes. Most importantly, I like the affordability of campus housing.
UT offers great options for student housing. Just walk by Volunteer Hall, for example. The building looks like a Hilton and is home to Southern Kitchen (whose sweet tea is manna from heaven). Word on the orange vine has it there are spots opening up there. Orange, White and Brown halls have comfortable furnishings and great spaces for studying. You just have to decide if price is right and if you want a private bedroom.
Are off campus apartments nice? There are quite a few lovely places to live. I like visiting friends with spacious living areas to unwind and chat. But living on campus has its perks too.
If you are worried about not seeing your friends, just remember: they have to come for class eventually. You can always invite them to your room/apartment or to lunch on campus.
As the cliché says, home is where the heart is. If you love campus, stay. Everyone is welcome on Rocky Top.
Best of luck in your decision.
– TNJN Editor