103 The Choice Between On-or-Off Campus for First-Year Student Athletes
For the students who live near their college campuses, the decision to live on campus or commute to campus can be tough. One thing to think about when making the decision is whether or not you participate in an activity or sport. This presentation is based on my experience as a first-year student, baseball player, and commuter. The purpose is to help incoming students make the best decision about their living arrangements.
Responsibilities of First-Year College Students
Regardless of major, all first-year college students share some common responsibilities. Time management is key to juggling these academic requirements:
- Up to 4 or 5 classes and possibly some labs. Some classes meet three times per week and some meet twice per week.
- Required first year seminar class that includes activities that must be completed outside of class.
- Required convocation for some classes.
- Nightly homework and studying.
Responsibilities of a First-Year Baseball Player
Athletes have extra responsibilities on top of the academic requirements. Responsibilities for baseball players include:
- Mandatory 6:00 a.m. workouts three days a week.
- Mandatory study hall three days a week from 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Athletes can stop attending study hall after midterm if they have a 3.0 GPA.
- Batting practice throughout the day.
- Mandatory team practice every evening. The times for practice change, but often run into lab times or other required outside activities.
Benefits of Living Off Campus
Students who live near campus can enjoy these benefits of living at home:
- Comfort of being at a familiar place with family.
- Regular home-cooked meals.
- More comfortable bed.
- No roommates.
Challenges of Living Off Campus
There are many benefits of living at home, but there are some specific challenges too, especially for athletes. Some of them are:
- Waking up extra early to commute to campus for mandatory weights.
- Getting home late because of study hall.
- Less sleep because of long days on campus.
- More chances to spend time with the team.
Making the Choice
Everyone’s situation is different, and each person should choose what works best for them and their family. Based on my experience, these are the things student-athletes should consider when making the choice:
- Think about the distance from your house to campus. Will the commute force you to travel early or late? Will you be able to get enough sleep?
- Think about family time. Does your family have traditions and things that are special that you’ll want to be a part of?
- Think about possible weather situations. Will you have to miss practice or weights if the weather is bad?
- Think about how social you are. Will you prefer to have a roommate and be around your friends more than being at home?
- Think about cost. Living on campus is expensive. Will you have to take out loans to get a dorm?