Campus living:The biggest backyard you’ll ever have

Ah, dorm life. Rolling out of bed and strolling to class, easy computer access, clean showers and home-cooked meals courtesy of Chartwells. And how about an organized trip to the Everglades for some alligator wrestling? Or an art deco tour of South Beach, or a snorkeling trip in the Keys? Maybe all students think all they need is a comfortable, quiet place to study. But for students planning to live on campus this coming year, they’re in for this and much more.
When freshmen arrive on campus on opening day of the residence halls, they can expect long lines for the elevators, because everyone else is moving in as well. But they shouldn’t get discouraged, because these long waits offer the first opportunity to meet new people. Students in the residence halls can easily make friends in college the first week of school before classes even begin just by socializing with residents in their hall.
Once students get into their rooms, it’s a good idea to make sure everything’s in order first, then check in with their Resident Assistant. After that, they can start unpacking and get to know their new roommate.
The goal of the residential colleges is to promote a positive environment for personal, social, and cognitive growth by offering a good balance between extracurricular activities and educational needs. For this reason, Faculty Families and Residence Coordinators, in conjunction with all the Resident Assistants, host many fun and exciting activities in their on-site apartments. Floor dinners, movie nights after a hard week of studies and field trips are often on the social agenda. NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, snorkeling trips to John Pennekamp State Park on Key Largo and South Beach art deco tours have all been recent organized outings.
“While we have other goals as well – community-building, community service, and just plain fun – the central mission of the Colleges is to convince students that learning shouldn’t stop at the classroom door,” said Law School Professor Michael Fischl, the faculty “Master” of Pearson Residential College.
Athletic events are also a big thing, as are intramural team sports and other forms of inter-College competition. But if all that activity doesn’t sound appealing, there are quiet study lounges located throughout every residential college. These lounges are open 24/7, so even last-minute procrastinators can study in peace.
Essentially, students can be as involved as they want to be in their residence halls – the opportunities are there and waiting to be discovered. For more information, contact the Department of Residence Halls at 305-284-4505. Visit for a list of items to bring, an interactive Flash site called Sebastian’s Room, and much more.