LMU residential life was a great experience that introduced me to many of my closest friends and I feel lucky to have been surrounded by such a supportive community for the past two years. However, now that I am officially an upperclassman, I wish to learn practical skills that will prepare me for post-grad life. So far, moving off campus has been a fantastic way for me to learn the ropes of the real world, and I am confident that the skills I have acquired will benefit me in the future.
Recently, I moved in with a friend from LMU. She actually lived across from me on my floor during my freshman year in Del Rey North, and we have remained friends ever since. We bonded over our mutual passion for whipping up innovative late-night treats in the dorm kitchen. My personal fav creation of ours would have to be chocolate chip waffles with almond butter.
When deciding on an apartment, we chose one about 10 minutes from campus with close proximity to many stellar West L.A. locations. For example, we are a quick drive from LYFE Kitchen, Urban Plates Playa Vista, the Promenade at Howard Hughes Center, and many other must-visit spots in Culver City, Marina del Rey, and Playa del Rey.
Both living situations have their own set of pros and cons. Living on campus provides students with constant stimulation, whether it be from roommates, hall mates, RAs, residence hall activities, etc. This provides underclassmen, especially freshmen, with a fun, upbeat, and welcoming environment. Moreover, this friendly atmosphere establishes a positive ‘home away from home’ vibe. During my freshman and sophomore years, I loved being surrounded by my peers, and I enjoyed the bounty of social opportunities at my disposal as well as other dorm-life perks, such as themed food nights in the lounge, movie screenings, study groups, etc. Likewise, the convenient distance to and from classes, professors’ offices, the library, and many dining options were other benefits of a campus lifestyle that I became happily accustomed to.
In contrast, moving away from LMU allows students to have their space away from the hustle and bustle of academic life. Even though I miss living near my friends, it feels nice to be more independent. Being off campus has also taught me how to be more timely and responsible. Now that I no longer live on the bluff, I budget my time more effectively, especially regarding commuting time and extracurricular scheduling. Furthermore, I have learned to wisely manage my finances on a weekly and monthly basis. I am grateful for these skills because they have provided me with a healthy transition into the real world.
Overall, both housing experiences have been integral components of my college journey. On one hand, I was given ample social experiences that led to many great friendships. On the other, I have been provided with a platform for personal growth. I am glad to live in a more independent space at this juncture in my life, but I am thankful for all that I learned residing on LMU’s campus.