Campus living restricts travel
UH offers seven residential facilities around campus, all equipped with the resources needed for students to concentrate on their studies, as well as to make living on campus an affordable and fun experience.
Students can choose between the Calhoun Lofts, Cougar Village, Moody Towers, Quadrangle, Bayou Oaks, Cambridge Oaks and Cullen Oaks. Combined, they house an estimated 6,000 students.
Although UH is considered a commuter school with more than 39,000 students, for students living on campus residential life can be as diverse as the school and city itself.
Simon Tice, a Spanish linguistics junior who has been living at Cougar Village for the past three semesters, said that living on campus is a good thing.
“I think living on campus is healthy for gaining experiences independent of parents,” Tice said. “If you live at home all the time, you don’t really experience responsibility or having to manage yourself as much, and that leads to less self-discovery.”
He said he enjoys living on campus because there is always something to do, people to hang out with and events or shows to see.
In addition to the experience, other students note the convenience of eliminating commuting, especially if they live outside of Houston city limits. John Gonzales, a kinesiology sophomore and Moody Towers resident, has found that living closer to campus is convenient for managing his study time, which was hindered when he drove to school last year.
“I find that I’m having more time to study,” Gonzales said. “I’m taking advantage of the library and forming study groups.”
Freshman Christian Dejesus, who studies philosophy and chemistry, also thinks study habits are a benefit of living on campus.
“If you just commute here, once you’re gone from school, that’s the end of it,” Dejesus said. “But for those who live here, we’re always studying and always around our classes; it’s just easier to keep in the habit of studying.”
Dejesus chose to live in Cougar Village instead of purchasing a car for the commute from Sugar Land.
“I don’t have a car, so the price of living in a dorm over four years is about the same price as buying a car, plus insurance,” Dejesus said.
Tice, who doesn’t own a car either, said that he can always hitch a ride with his friends or have his parents take him to places he needs to go.
“There are some drawbacks to being perpetually baited with exciting opportunities,” Tice said. “For instance, studying is more difficult when you live on campus, especially if you are as social as I am.”
The lack of students on campus means some dining facilities close early on Fridays and stay closed over the weekend, limiting food options for students stuck on campus.
Sophomore Megan Aldridge has to manage her meal plan and a college student budget, leaving her with few selections when it comes to eating.
“It’s hard because I often end up eating junk food in my room if I don’t think I have enough swipes left for the cafeteria,” said Aldridge, who serves as a resident advisor in Cougar Village and studies mathematical biology.
She said she tries to find events with free food, but explained living on campus without a car can be difficult if she wants to leave, and is such a barrier it can even sway her opinion of who to hang out with.
Aldridge said she takes caution when accepting invitations off campus, due to concern for her safety.
“Having a car makes me more likely to accept an offer for a date with someone that I may not have otherwise,” Aldridge said.