Ege Yalman

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DORMITORY LIFE IN KOC UNIVERSITY

A new start to a new college means a lot in students’ lives. It brings lots of changes. It is a new, fresh start surrounded by new faces. It sounds frightening, doesn’t it? But don’t forget, you are not the only one. Always remember that new faces bring new friendships, new experiences and a new environment. College is the turning point for most of the people. It is the time when you start to live as young as a student, but as mature as an adult as you have to stand on your own feet without the help of your parents.

Most of the students, especially the ones who are living abroad will start living their first year of college in dormitories. For most of them it is the first time that they have to learn living with someone they have never met before. Dormitory life is one of the essentials of college life, and most students apply for dormitories. Of course, it has many advantages, but it has some disadvantages at the same time. Now let’s see and you decide. Today, we will take Koc University’s dorm life in hand and we will discuss the opinions of some Koc students.

Like many other colleges have, Koc University have a dormitory life. It has dormitories for students in the main campus and west campus which is located on a place that takes 5 minute-drive from the main campus. Most of the students in Koc University start their college life in dormitories, especially if they are coming abroad. There are many people asking to stay at dormitories, but the priority is given to the students who are coming from the different cities of Turkey, or the exchange students. Here is the main question. Does dormitory life satisfy the needs and expectations of all students?

First of all, most of the students start their dorm lives by sharing a room with random people and random faces. It must be both exciting and hard for a new student. When it comes to sharing your room, it is even harder and more exciting. One of the Koc university students, Gulce Guleli who have experienced a dormitory life for 2 years and who is now a junior says that “Dormitory life necessitates patience and compromise. You have to share your room with someone you completely don’t know. It is both exciting and scary. If you can’t get along well, your whole semester could be a disaster.” It is one of the main risks of dorms, you actually take a risk, it is all about chance for you to stay with someone you will get along well with. Gulce also mentions that “if you don’t have any siblings, and if you don’t get used to share your room with someone, it will be hard for you to get used to dormitory life.” Sharing a room with a random person may be a problem, but it is all about your chance. Koc University has also single room option, but there is not enough single room for the students facing this problem. Gulce also says that “I have applied for a single room many times, but there were many other students who had the same demand, and I wasn’t from the lucky ones.” The only problem may not be a random roommate, sometimes students need a free space on their own, they actually need it. Begum Comert who is a Freshman in Koç University and who have experienced dormitory for a year says that “Sometimes me as a person, need my own space, I really loved my room mate, but it is something personal, there were many times I wanted to be alone in the room.” On the other hand the situation may differ for others because some students find their best friends randomly. Yağmur Şengezer who is a senior student and who have been staying in dormitory for 4 years says. “I think staying someone random can be very exciting, for me it was. My best friend is my roommate, and we have been staying together for 4 years.” Therefore, if you are from the lucky ones, you may also find your best friend by chance like Yağmur. It is worth to see , isn’t it?

Second thing is to find out what to eat in dormitories. Most of the students complain about this issue. In Koc universities’ official web-site (dorm.ku.edu.tr) it is mentioned that “there are common kitchens with basic appliances in the main (Fener) campus. There is a central kitchen facility on the west campus.” However this is one of the main issues of a dormitory life. There is a central kitchen, but most students do not cook, they eat fast food, or they eat from the campus. Begum says that “It was the biggest problem of dormitory life for me. I had gained weight in my first year. Yes there was a central kitchen, however I wasn’t feeling like I could go there and cook my own food. You know, it is not your own kitchen so you don’t feel like you can easily go there and cook your food like you do at home.” This may not be a problem for everyone, but majority of students see it as one of the main problems of the dorm life. There are some exceptions, of course. Yağmur is one of them. She says “I didn’t have a problem with finding out what to eat, I love to cook and it doesn’t matter where I cook, I can easily use the common kitchens.”

Third factor is that common bathrooms. Some dorms in Koc University have private bathrooms, but most of the dormitory buildings have common bathrooms. The bathrooms are located in every floor, they are clean and useful, but most of the students don’t feel comfortable to take a shower and walk to their rooms with towels. One of the senior students who have been experiencing dorm life for almost four years says that “I don’t have a problem with the bathroom, but I love to take a shower for long periods, and in dormitory, sometimes there are others waiting for the bath and I have to keep it short. Also, I feel a bit uncomfortable to see someone while I am going back to my room after taking a shower.” So for the ones who will feel discomfort in such situation, dormitory with common bathroom may not be a good idea. They should prefer the rooms that include a bathroom. But other than there is no other problem with the hot water, there is a 7/24 hot water service at Koc Dormitories as it is also mentioned in dormitory principles in dorm.ku.edu.tr.

The lack of elevator is an obstacle for students. For the students who stay in West Campus, it is not a problem; however for the students who stay on the main campus it becomes a huge problem especially when they are carrying heavy stuffs. Students complain a lot when it comes to the issue of the lack of elevator. Begum says “I live in İzmir, and when I was staying in the campus dormitory, at the beginning of each semester I had many belongings with me to arrange my room, and I was staying on the second floor and there was no elevator. It was the hardest thing for me to carry all those stuffs by myself without an elevator. I cannot imagine how hard it is for the ones staying on the third floor.” Gulce also complains about that. She says: “When I was staying in dormitory, I couldn’t think of arranging my belongings on my own, without the help of my parents, it was impossible for me to carry all those stuffs.”

Price is another factor. If you don’t have a scholarship, the price you pay for the dormitory is almost equal to a typical house rent, on the other hand you don’t have extra payments for cleaning, internet, subscription, electric bills etc. Gulce who started to stay at home after 2-year dormitory life says “home life is really comfortable for me of course, however I didn’t think that payments for home would be this much expensive and you know people are mistaken when they think the expenditures of dormitory and home are the same, home life is much more expensive.” As it is understood, dormitory life is much appropriate for a student. Besides, for students who have full scholarship, rooms are free for all semesters in Koc University. By considering these benefits, most students apply for dormitory in every semester in Koc University.

The most important factor why students demand for dormitory, especially in the main campus is that it really increases he academic success. Dormitories in the main campus are really close to library, and library is open 7/24. Any time they want, students can go there and study. Gulce says: “I think staying in the main campus is best for increasing your grades, because when library is there, you don’t say I don’t want to study, you feel like you have to use that library, and it really affects your academic life in a good way.” Library is not the only factor that increases success, but the other factor is you don’t miss your lectures when you stay in main campus. Yagmur says “ This is what I love about my school, the dormitories are in the campus and even if you wake up 30 minutes before the lecture, you can still be on time.”

To sum up, staying in dormitories have both some advantages and disadvantages like everything, like life. But every student should experience it once, and they have to decide whether it is a good or a bad thing. College year is the best year of students life and making it better is mostly about what you make of it. Maybe you will find your best friend, maybe you will have to cook your own food, maybe you will experience hard times as well, however the important thing is you will learn dealing with those by yourself, it will be the time that you live as young as a student, but as mature as an adult.

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