College is a life changing event for every student who desires to realize his/her dreams. The university is a place of learning and of discovery, learning does not occur in the four walls of the classroom or the library, nor it is solely the responsibility of the professor, and it is more than reading hundreds of pages of textbooks and completing requirements after requirements. College is also the place where each student learns how to live independently for the first time, how to manage their time and schedules, meet life long friends, experience passionate love and bear their souls to a special person and most of all, it is where they discover who they are, what they are capable of and what they want to do with the rest of their lives. In this very intense, fast paced academic life, each student struggles with and comes out more mature after living in a college dorm. Dorm life for college students is a necessary part of the total learning experience of the student, without it they won’t be fully prepared to take on the challenges of adult life.
Dorm life is important because it teaches the student personal responsibility and independence, it promotes social skills in terms of relating to others and it facilitates better academic performance. Students who stay in the dorm during college have to learn to take care of their needs and well-being. Living in a dorm give students the opportunity to be independent, for the first time; after being sheltered and taken cared of by their parents and family, college students has to make their own decisions and deal with the consequences of their actions. Learning to assume responsibility and becoming independent are the hallmarks of maturity and these can only be learned through actual experience and nothing can ever replace that. Then, dorm life for college students enables them to practice and hone their social skills. They have to live with a room mate and this alone is a huge test of their ability to relate to other people, to build relationships and friendships and to learn to trust and even be hurt by others. The dorm is made up of different kinds of individuals who are unique and have their own personalities and attitudes, within this context; each student develops the ability to respect other people’s beliefs, religion, point of view and even ideologies. At the same time, the student learns conflict resolution, conflict management and to how to compromise, it teaches the student that some people will agree with them and some would not. Not all have positive views on college dorm life; others see it as an unnecessary evil.
Dorm life is not good for students because it is full of adolescents who are reckless, easily influenced by scrupulous individuals, without morals and are immature. When placed together in a single building, these students wreak havoc in their lives and other people’s lives. Since all of them are still in their youth, without adequate adult guidance, they would surely become irresponsible, lose their purpose for being in college and be drawn to extreme and thrill seeking behavior. Students who have not been trained to be independent and need someone to look after them would feel lost in a sea of rule-breaking students. Moreover, young adults come to college with a vague description of who they want to be, they need a firm hand to show them where to go and how to achieve those dreams. Those who live in fraternity and sorority houses become so engrossed with parties, night-outs and breaking the rules that they become class delinquents and eventually drop out from college without realizing their dreams and without mastering any skill. They engage in risky behavior often with detrimental results as well as promote a culture of elitism and not brotherhood or sisterhood. Without sensible adults and parents to guide them, college students do not really benefit from dorm life.
It is a reality that dorm life is also made up of wild parties, excessive beer, sexual promiscuity and even illegal drugs, but every experience is an opportunity for learning, it is better for the college student to experience these things while still young because they still have the time to rectify it and become wiser after the experience. It is part of learning right from wrong, it teaches the student what alcohol, drugs and sex lead to and how it can destroy lives and futures. Sorority and fraternity houses build networks and connections that are of importance to future jobs, businesses and other endeavors. A child can never learn to walk if it is always carried or placed in a stroller, it is the same way with college students, they are about to become adults and professionals, how could they learn to be independent and develop their own characters if they are not given the chance to do so.
In conclusion, dorm life for college students is an essential part of the holistic development of the student’s sense of self; it gives them the opportunity to become someone who they want to be, to develop life skills of resiliency, adaptability, emotional intelligence and open-mindedness that can never be learned in a sheltered and controlled environment. A student who has not experienced dorm life will never have the opportunity how it is to live with other people and how it is to live on their own. Students may have gained all the training and knowledge for a certain academic discipline, but they have not learned how it is to be an independent, responsible and socially adept person; which is what college is all about aside from the academic discipline and training.