Want to Increase the Quality of Your Social Life? Try Dorms.
When you talk about college, is it even possible to not to mention parties? At first you think that students living off campus have the most freedom, so they can have parties and have a better social life. That’s what I thought at first as well.
I thought that more opportunities to party would equal better social interactions. When I looked at the facts and did some research, when it comes to quality of social life, dorms trump them all.
How does dorm life affect the quality of social interaction in college? Especially to college students, having a healthy social life is almost essential. It’s really hard to survive college without having the ability to talk to people and interact with them, but how does where you live change any of that.
Looking at the Facts
Let’s look at some examples where this is absolutely the case. First, starting with a little bit of my own research I did on students who have lived on campus and off campus.
This shows that over half of the students I interviewed reported a positive rating on their quality of social life in the dorms. It’s actually rare to have better interactions with people when you don’t live so close to them anymore.
The PIT Journal conducted an extensive social science experiment that talks about how students meet people from the dorms, and the quantity at which they found them in different parts of the dorm.
This supports the theory that when you are see other students every day you have a higher chance of interacting with them thus increasing your social life. Plenty of other examples show the trend of dorm life promoting this.
Other research led me to another study on the effects of living situations on students in college. The NSSE study on off campus living vs. on campus living says that “interactions with Professors were more common with students living off campus”, but, for “overall well being, opportunities to be socially active, and student interactions, the students living in dorms has them beat.”
Lets Break it Down
I’ve found that dorms are actually designed specifically to increase the chances of college students having social situations with their peers. In this close proximity, how can you not see other students?
Dorms have a system in place that almost forces the students to have some sort of connection with each other. Could it be pride in where they live, or even where they go to school? Who knows?
You must be thinking that if they cant throw parties, then how are they have a “social life”. There is some sort of stigma that all college is about is the parties.
The real way to tell if you have a quality social life is the people you meet, and how much you connect with them. In the dorms all of them have their college in common, their dorm, and usually their grade level. The students have so much in common that it is made specifically for them to have quality interactions.
The sources I found (PIT, NSSE, my own survey, etc.) all relate to living in dorms, but aren’t simply mirrors of the same study. They all show different aspects of college living that point in the direction of the dorms are rated the highest for quality of social life for a reason.
The initial reasons I thought of for off-campus living being a better environment for social interactions, such as more independence and freedom, had little impact regarding student social lives.
I believe my theory and research is useful because it highlights many pros and cons of dorm life and off-campus living, which would be advantageous for incoming students trying to decide where they should live for their first year in college and any time after that.
What will you choose when you get into college? Will you get be living off campus, or will you try to go it alone and find friends elsewhere?
Lets Wrap it Up
That’s why dorm life promotes social life in almost every aspect. Why does this trend occur? The college puts on and organizes this specifically to help with transitioning and aid in incoming students well being-that.
Students have to appreciate that the system was set up for their success, but I wonder about their academic life? Even looking at Greek living can help us find out more about this topic.
For now, we can see that at least students in dorms have friends.