Athens, OH 22 March 2020 –
Saturday, March 21, 2020 marked the end of my time living on campus. Due to COVID-19, Ohio University students were required to move out of their residence halls. It is very bittersweet to leave Bromley Hall without saying goodbye to my Resident Assistants, hallmates and the Facilities personnel. For two years, Bromley Hall has been my “home away from home”. Living in Bromley Hall as an upperclassman was a unique experience.
Two years ago, as a sophomore, I was going to follow the trend of moving out of the residence halls and into an apartment. Of course, being young, I had no idea of the additional costs of living off-campus. But, at the time, I was blinded by the allure of independence.
As I was debating my choices, one of my senior peers offered to sell me her lease. I was stunned and interested in her offer, until a mutual friend convinced me to stay in the residence halls. As a voice of reason, she described the pros and cons of living off campus and living in the residence halls. She shared her experience of living off campus and encouraged me to consider the costs (e.g. food, maintenance, renter’s insurance, rent, utilities, etc.) of both options.
Additionally, as a science major, she reminded me of the importance of a consistent study environment. She also reminded me of the rigor I would face in the next two years as an engineering student. Overall, she wanted me to have a better living experience than she did.
Two years later as a senior, Bromley Hall granted me the best of both worlds, so to speak. Since Bromley Hall is located in Downtown Athens, I was in close proximity to my favorite eateries (e.g. Fluff Bakery, Salaam Athens, Bagel Street Deli, Whit’s Frozen Custard, etc.) and classes in Stocker Center and the Academic Research Center.
Were there downsides? Yes. There are downsides to everything (like the late-night fire alarms, thin walls, and the raucous chatter at 2 AM, etc.) However, I enjoyed playing pool in the recreation room, studying long nights in the mezzanine area, and watching the sun set from my third-floor window.
Overall, I am very pleased with my decision to stay in Bromley Hall for the past two years and I will truly miss it (even the late-night fire alarms.) Moreover, to those who are considering moving off campus, remember that moving off-campus is not a rite of passage. Were there a lot of critics? Yes. Did their opinions matter? No, not at all. Remember to make decisions that match your speed. Don’t rush before you are ready and always seek out additional advice.
So, for those who are considering moving off-campus to gain independence, you can have the best of both worlds: You can maintain your independence and live on campus!