Why You Should Live on Campus

Oct. 14, 2013

Why you should Live on Campus

Todd Buras

Where you live is an important part of your education. Your college residence is not just a place to store your stuff and to nap between classes. It has as much to do with your education as your classes do. Here's why:

Education is inevitably about the formation of whole persons. Education is never simply about the uptake of information, but about the integration of all you learn into a coherent understanding of yourself and the world, and about learning to live in light of that understanding. If you want to get the most out of a Baylor degree, seek formation not just information.

The formation of whole persons is an inherently communal enterprise. We are formed as whole persons by sharing purposeful experiences and open-ended conversations among friends. Formative educational experiences depend on shared purposes, mutual expectations, and bonds of trust; they depend, in a word, on community. Think of the way your family shaped your deepest beliefs and values, and you get the idea.

Finally, where you live is a major factor in the character of the collegiate community you will experience. To achieve the highest educational goal, you need to be part of community that brings you together with your neighbors, faculty and staff to share daily life, prayer, study, fun, and reflection on what matters most. That is the goal of all campus housing. Off-campus apartments are not designed for this purpose. The local rental market has an economic, not an educational, interest in Baylor students. This is not to say that formative collegiate communities do not spring up off campus. The point is rather that such communities will be rarer, smaller, and harder to sustain without institutional support and purposeful design that campus housing provides.

Living on campus provides the best chance of being a part of the kind of collegiate community required to get most out of a Baylor education. The real question, then, is not whether you should live on campus, but how long is it going to take Baylor to make room for all of you.