To Dorm or Not to Dorm: Students wonder if they made the right choice

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As classes began this week at the University of Connecticut, some students wonder if they made the right decision to live on campus, or to live at home and take their classes online. 

UConn announced this past July that students would have the option to dorm on campus or stay home for the semester. The difficult decision of whether to dorm or not to dorm was a serious question for students when there were still many unknowns. 

For some students, like John Fowler, a fifth-semester MIS major, the decision to stay at home was a financial one, as he wondered if it was worth feeling trapped at home.  

“Currently, I have a mixed feeling. On one hand I miss my friends and the environment. I think it’s harder to focus on classes from home,” said Fowler. “On the other hand, I don’t want to risk my health or anyone else’s, especially since all of my classes are online.” 

Other students find focusing on classes from home highly difficult due to the distractions from other family members and the atmosphere. 

“Classes are very overwhelming, at least the first day,” Fowler said. “It seems I have at least two professors who haven’t really squared away what they plan on doing, and as a result I, as well as other students, have been left feeling lost and confused.” 

 “It seems I have at least two professors who haven’t really squared away what they plan on doing, and as a result I, as well as other students, have been left feeling lost and confused.”

Fowler added that although he is still adjusting to online classes at home, he finds solace that he is not the only one struggling with living off campus.  

“This is unprecedented for all of us, but there have been some decisions from some of them and from the university that continue to baffle me,” Fowler said “I just hope things get more structured as we continue into the semester.” 

Some out-of-state students made the decision to come back to campus, but were then denied housing four days before move-in day. This news came after UConn announced out-of-state students with all online classes were no longer able to stay on campus.  

For some students, the decision to come to campus was one of a need for independence, regardless of the risks that come with dorming.  

Jack Leśniewski, a first-semester digital media and design major, said coming to campus was a way to jumpstart his college career and journey into adulthood. 

“I don’t know if wanting to escape my parents is the best phrasing because I actually like being around my family most of the time,” said Leśniewski. “I needed to find out who I am and what I want. As much as I’d love to stay in the comfort of my bedroom and home I’ll never develop into who I am if I do.” 

“I needed to find out who I am and what I want. As much as I’d love to stay in the comfort of my bedroom and home I’ll never develop into who I am if I do.”

Leśniewski also noted that learning to manage his online classes and independence during a pandemic is both challenging and exciting. 

“I’m at a point in my life where I’m starting to let go of people’s hands and changing into adult Jack,” Leśniewski said. “It’s a lot of fun but very stressful, especially during a pandemic.”

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