Students at Oswego State are nearing the completion of the residence and housing process that determines where they will be living for the 2014-15 academic year.
For the fall 2013 semester, 60.7 percent of undergraduate students lived on campus. The students that live in the multiple dormitories and The Village come from a wide array of places. They come from all over New York state, from other neighboring states and there are many who are natives of countries far overseas. There are also students who live not too far away from Oswego State’s backyard, some of whom even live in Oswego.
Senior Zachariah Schrecengost is a physics and computer science major at Oswego State and also a graduate of Oswego City School District. He lived in Cayuga Hall his freshman year and has resided in Funnelle Hall for the last three years. Not only does he live just a few minutes from campus, but he also has his own car.
“I felt like commuting as a freshman would have made it 13th grade as opposed to an entirely new life chapter,” Schrecengost said. “You gain a tremendous amount of independence living on campus along with skills you didn’t know you lacked. It is definitely an abrasive change at first; sharing a living space with another person and sharing a bathroom with a bunch of strangers were two things that were pretty difficult to get used to, but they help you grow a lot as a person.”
Schrecengost also said that living on campus has just been more convenient with the resources that are available right on campus and even though it would be a very short drive, he still wouldn’t like to drive to campus on one of those snowy mornings.
More than anything, he said commuters don’t get the full opportunity to meet and mingle with other students on campus throughout their college career.
“It is much harder to make close friends if you are a commuter because you aren’t forced into many situations with strangers,” Schrecengost said. “I also don’t think commuters would be as likely to get involved with evening activities because they aren’t going to want to go home after class and then come back just for the activity.”
Schrecengost has not been the only one to think this way. His roommate for his first two years at Oswego State was another graduate of Oswego City School District. When he decided to move off campus for the 2012-13 school year, Schrecengost planned on living at home and commuting that year too.
“I originally wanted to live at home because I would have saved a huge amount of money,” Schrecengost said. “I actually decided in July that I wanted to return to campus.”
He did and ended up rooming with a student who lived only twenty minutes away from campus, in neighboring Cayuga County. This year, his roommate is Nathan Miller, a 2013 graduate of Oswego City School District.
“Living on campus I think is definitely a good experience,” Miller said. “It’s a great way to meet new people and make friends. Living on campus makes going to class much easier than if I were to commute. Especially with all of the snow we have gotten this year.”
Miller said that having the ability to simply wake up, shower and walk to class is more appealing versus commuting and having to wake up a little earlier and possibly get caught in bad weather. He acknowledged that being in an area with 400 people under the same roof robs students of some of the privacy that comes with living at home, but said it’s worth the sacrifice.
Miller is planning to live at home next year to save money, but said future freshmen from local schools should definitely consider living on campus.
“I would recommend that they live on campus for at least a year and then if they don’t like it, then they could always commute the following years,” Miller said. “I think it’s important that they get the experience of being on their own. It could help them mature and get their priorities straight. It can also be a lot of fun.”
Schrecengost is going to be a fifth year student next year to complete his credit-heavy degrees, but is also planning on leaving the dorms after four years, signifying that it is time to move on.
He said he knows four years on campus will result in a lot of money to pay back in future years, but said the time he spent there has been well worth it.
“I realized that you can’t put a price on the kind of experiences you get from living on campus,” Schrecengost said.