Opinion: Shared spaces and difficult decisions: Take ownership and strive to thrive in housing


Choosing where to live in college can be difficult. You make a decision in April, or perhaps even sooner, that will directly impact your life for nine months. The choice made one evening determines the people you will see each day. In the case of PGB and WWF, it determines who you will share a community bathroom with. In all of the other halls, it determines who you will clean a bathroom with.

It is no secret the decision is large, and it is looming for many students like the promise of spring when people begin playing ultimate frisbee in the quad. But there is good news for those drowning in the pressure.

There is not a wrong choice.

Jenny Bushnell and Jocelynn Lenhoff in a Blossom dorm room (Photo by Kelsey Garrett)

Jenny Bushnell and Jocelynn Lenhoff in a Blossom dorm room (Photo by Kelsey Garrett)

Each housing option has something to offer every single student. The secret is finding what is right for you.

Do you thrive on being constantly surrounded by people? Consider the open-door environments of WWF or PGB. People are always found talking and laughing in the slightly dilapidated halls.

Maybe you simply cannot stand the idea of splitting up your group of six male friends. After all, six is an awkward number in some halls. Have no fears about strange number combinations, because DeVol has your answer. DeVol offers suites made for a group of six.

Heritage, Haviland and Blossom combine the community of shared space with the luxury of air conditioning. As someone who has only ever lived in WWF, I know how glorious the promise of cooled air sounds.

Residing on campus is not your only option. I admit I am a strong advocate for residence life, but sometimes commuting is the best fit, and that is just fine. No single solution applies to everyone.

That is the real message of housing season. Malone is full of people who want each student to thrive wherever they are. For some the best fit is a residence hall, but the solution is not one-size-fits all.

As you weigh your housing options, be sure to think about your needs next year. Although living with all of your friends is a remarkable opportunity never to be replicated again in your life, it is only one factor in your decision.

When your number is called at housing night, approach the tables with confidence knowing exactly what you need to thrive academically, relationally and spiritually. Take ownership of your decision down to the exact room you will occupy.

Malone’s beautiful community is full of people willing to help you with your decision. RAs and RDs are incredible resources with valuable, honest insights about each option. The financial aid office will help you calculate each option and finance your decision.

College life is an amazing season deeply rooted in intentional community. Classrooms, campus housing and commuters’ homes end up being exactly what you make of them, so consider the experience you want out of next year when making your housing decision.


Alicia Meyer is the copy editor for The Aviso

Categories: Opinion

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