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10 Myths About Living On Campus
4/10/2012

Living on campus has certainly changed over the years. Today, St. Thomas students enjoy living in residence halls that are clean and safe, foster a sense of community with an active student life, and are convenient for classes. Read more as students debunk 10 myths about living on campus.


10 Myths: 

  • I’ll have to share one bathroom with the whole floor.
  • I live in Sugar Land, and it’s just easier to live at home.
  • Anybody can just walk on campus and come to my room. I’m not sure it’s safe to live on campus.
  • I will gain the freshman 15 by living on campus
  • If I live on campus there will be too many activities, so I can’t focus on my school work and my GPA will drop.
  • Living on campus is too expensive.
  • My parents lived on campus when they went to college and said they only used the dorms to sleep.
  • Only freshmen live on campus.
  • I don’t want to get stuck with paying the on-campus rent if my roommate moves out.
  • There are too many rules to enjoy living on campus.


Myth 1: I’ll have to share one bathroom with the whole floor.

Photo: MacDougal“The myth about the bathrooms for the whole floor – that must have been from the 60s or 70s. In Guinan Hall, every room has a bathroom and two beds, or a bathroom and one bed. It’s got a fridge, microwave and a closet. We have balconies and patios.”

Jaime MacDougal, freshman business major from Stirling, Scotland.

All residents in Guinan Hall have a private bathroom in their room that they share with only their roommate. For those that choose the single room option, they get to have a bathroom all to themselves. In Young Hall, multiple bathrooms are available in each apartment and grow as the number of bedrooms grow.

Myth 2: I live in Sugar Land, and it’s just easier to live at home.

“I commuted for a month, and I got no work done, whatsoever. When I came back to living in on campus, it was easy. If you have time in between classes, it’s easier to take a nap or study. I personally like it better.”

Carmina Catalan, sophomore biology/Pre-Med major from Sugar Land, Texas.

Living on campus has convenience written all over it. The on-campus commute is just a hop, skip, and a jump to the campus community and all of the services offered to our students. No need to fight morning traffic, worry about increasing gas prices, or where to rest in between classes. Convenience is certainly an area we are happy to provide our residents.

Myth 3: Anybody can just walk on campus and come to my room. I’m not sure it’s safe to live on campus.

“I never worry about safety. We always have people working the front desk and security officers visit all the time. I think it’s nice that security officers are always around.”

Samantha Spears, freshman joint major in communication and environmental studies, from El Dorado, Arkansas.

One of the most important parts of our Residence Life program is the safety and security of our residence halls. With a 24-hour front desk, we are able to monitor all entrances and exits of our residence halls and all guests use a check-in system to support the efforts. The UST security office is right across the street from Guinan Hall and blue lights are available at all residence halls in case of emergencies. The entire Residence Life team is trained in emergency management and response, and a Residence Life staff member is always on call to assist residents with emergency concerns.

Myth 4: I will gain the “freshman 15” by living on campus

Photo: Fernando “We have a gym that you can walk to on campus.”

Fernando Moreno Jr., junior psychology major from Houston, Texas.




With a health component as a part of the Residence Life programming model, all on-campus residents are given tools to living a healthy life. Resident Assistants and Sophomore Advisors often co-host programs with Recreational Sports and other departments to help freshmen be more active and learn about health education.

Myth 5: If I live on campus there will be too many activities, so I can’t focus on my school work and my GPA will drop.

“On campus, it’s so conducive to studying. When you’re at home, you just want to relax. Here, I can see other people studying and it gives me the motivation to study more.”

- Charles Borromeo, senior theology major from Sugar Land, Texas.


Higher Education research has shown that students who live on campus perform better in school. Study rooms, academic programming and an academic environment are intentional in our community to encourage academic success. Our staff is highly-trained in supporting the efforts of UST’s academic culture and can readily refer residents to academic services accessible while living on campus.

Myth 6: Living on campus is too expensive.

“My parents pay for me to live here, and if I were to get my own apartment, I would have to pay for it myself. It would be a stretch for me to live on my own. Here, I don’t have to worry about paying bills like the water bill and all that. I walk, so I even save gas money.”

Elizabeth Ponce de Leon, sophomore education major from Sugar Land, Texas.

Unlike living in an off-campus apartment, all of your bills are included in your university housing rate. On-campus students don’t have to worry about monthly water, electricity, cable, covered parking or internet bills. Additionally, maintenance takes care of all resident maintenance concerns, so you don’t have to pay out of pocket if something in the residence hall needs to be fixed.

Myth 7: My parents lived on campus when they went to college and said they only used the dorms to sleep.

“My dad went to Cornell. When he looked at the residence hall here, he said it looked like a hotel! He said he wished he had dorms like this. There’s so much to do here. Right now, they’re planning for ‘Got Talent,’ which is like Guinan Hall Idol. Every Wednesday, they have Wonderful Wednesday with free food and activities. It’s a good atmosphere to meet people who live here. If I’m not in the gym or studying, I’m here. This is like home for me.”

- Jorge Gonzalez, sophomore business major from the Woodlands, Texas, and originally Aguascalientes, Mexico.

Times have changed my friend, and so has the name of on-campus housing. Colleges and universities have moved away from the term “dorm” and are striving to educate all college students on the benefits of living in a “residence hall.” Our on-campus residence halls have live-in staff members who help our residents thrive as leaders of faith and character. There are weekly social events, academic support, spiritual reflection and meaningful interactions with friends. Residence halls certainly have moved away from “just a place to sleep” and become a place to grow and have fun!

Myth 8: Only freshmen live on campus.

“I’ve lived in Guinan Hall for the last four years. It’s easy. I’ve seen a lot of my friends leave and try to get apartments and then not have money and not have cars to be able to get here. It’s just easier to roll out of bed, and be here if I have rehearsal.”

Ariel Deshotel, senior music major from Humble, Texas.


Our on-campus community consists of freshmen all the way up to graduate students. In fact, we have a community, Young Hall, specifically designed for upper-class students. In Young Hall, Resident Assistants are focused on upper-class students’ support and what’s important to these residents as they move closer to becoming college graduates. Many upper-class students also live in Guinan Hall and are placed on upper-class communities that encourage the same atmosphere as Young Hall.

Myth 9: I don’t want to get stuck with paying the on-campus rent if my roommate moves out.

“It’s not true – you just pay for your half of the room. If you’re roommate moves out, it’s sweet: You get a whole room to yourself. If you have an apartment and your roommate moves, you have to pay for the full rent or pay to break the contract. Here, it’s not a joint thing. You moved in separately, so you’re not joined if your roommate
moves out.”

Teni Adeyemi, resident assistant, senior political science major and pre-law student from London, England.


One of the greatest advantages of living on campus is that your housing rate is fixed, regardless of whether your roommate stays or not. Unlike living in an off-campus apartment, if your roommate decides to move out of the residence halls, your housing rate won’t change.

Myth 10: There are too many rules to enjoy living on campus.

“The rules are designed to make Guinan Hall a place that’s open to everyone. They’re not outrageous or particularly hard to follow. There’s not a curfew – you can stay up as long as you want. We do have courtesy hours, so you have to be respectful during the night-time hours. Your friends can visit, and same-sex guests can stay the night. You have to keep in mind that we live in a community, and we have to be respectful of others.”

Paul Gries, freshman biology major from Houston, Texas.


UST guidelines for community living were created so all students can enjoy living in a safe, secure, and responsible community. Students come to UST from all over the world and our residence hall community standards give everyone an opportunity to live in a home focused on the core values of our university. Residents are always encouraged to have a good time and pursue their individual interests.

For more information about living on campus at the University of St. Thomas, visit: www.stthom.edu/residencelife or contact Yolanda Norman at 713-525-3836 or residencelife@stthom.edu.


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