GINGER’S GUIDE TO: Living on Campus

When I first arrived at Marshall University, I was a wide-eyed freshman who didn’t have much life experience. And as a journalism major, I barely had any writing experience (my high school newspaper, if you can call it that, was a joke). But as I write this, I just learned that two of my articles for The Parthenon have won awards. I’ve recently received scholarships from the College of Arts and Media and been recognized for my writing accomplishments by the School of Journalism. For my internship requirement, I’m working at the Herald-Dispatch this summer, and one of my first stories made it onto the front page, above the fold no less. I get paid to work for The Parthenon, and that’s been a goal since my first Green and White Day. I’m not saying this to brag but rather to demonstrate the opportunities I’ve had because of Marshall and especially the College of Arts and Media.

I’m confident that every Marshall student and graduate have their own stories about what amazing things they’ve done because of, and for, our university. And as part of the class of 2023, you will too.

It’s hard to write an advice column because your experiences won’t be exactly like mine, and every person’s time here is unique. But I can share some things with you that I hope might make your transition here a little easier. I live on campus, though I’m close enough to home to visit just about every weekend. I’ve had the opportunity to live off campus, but I didn’t take it because I love living on campus so much. I know a lot of people don’t, but I want to share three pieces of advice if you’re living on campus. 

For starters, don’t discount the dining hall. You guys are lucky because by the time you start in the fall, so many new dining options are available. Steak ‘n’ Shake, Denny’s, La Famiglia…it’s going to be a great year. Even if you commute, I’d recommend getting at least some type of meal plan. And don’t forget about Campus Express! I barely went here my first year, but since then, it’s fueled so many homework-binging nights. Every employee, whether at Harless, Towers or the Student Center, is incredibly nice, helpful and welcoming. Plus, you shouldn’t blame them if you’re unhappy with what’s being served; that is Sodexo’s responsibility, but that’s a whole different story.

Living with people you know can be tricky. And I know this advice is a little late, as roommate assignments are already out, but if you’re living with a best friend from high school, just be aware that your friendship is about to be tested. I lived with a great friend my freshman year, and now…let’s just say we hardly talk. But of course, that didn’t just have to do with living together; I’m not trying to scare you. I just want everyone to be careful with who you choose to live with. My sophomore and now my senior year, I’m going to be living with three complete strangers (junior year I had the same roommates). I should also mention that I live in Willis Hall, which is part of Commons. I’m preparing myself once more to try to impress my new suitemates and hope they like me, but I’m also reminded that this is a great opportunity. I made some wonderful friends as a sophomore because of who my roommates were, and though we aren’t living together anymore, we’ll still keep in touch. I now hope to make three new friends. So going back to living with someone you know—don’t let it hold you back from making new friends. Don’t just stick with your high school buddies. Branch out.

Finally, I just want to talk about how many opportunities exist on campus. If you log into HerdLink, you’ll find a list of more than 200 student organizations. I promise there is something for everyone, and even if there isn’t, you have the power to create a club or group. Students here can work flexible hours at the dining halls, library or the Rec Center. Campus Activity Board has so many amazing and fun (and free!) programs each week, to help students destress or just explore their creativity. If you’re really excelling in a certain class or subject, I encourage you to apply to be a tutor. If you like writing, then reach out to me about contributing to The Parthenon. Or if you have any questions about anything, related to living on campus or not, please don’t hesitate to ask me. 

The possibilities at Marshall are endless. 

Amanda Larch can be contacted at [email protected].