My experience and what I wish I knew.
When you come to West Chester University, as on campus student you have a few living options available to you. You can live in the dorms, on South campus, or even a non affiliated apartment close to campus. I spent my first year in the dorms at Killinger Hall. My sophomore year, I transitioned to the South Campus apartments, however that was cut short by Covid. After spending almost two years at home, I’m back on South Campus finishing up my senior year.
On South Campus, you have three areas to choose from. There is the Village, East Village, and South Campus Apartments. All, offering different arrangements and benefits. I personally lived in the South Campus apartments the first half of sophomore year and this year.
Being back on South Campus has brought up things I remember from my first time living here, and today I’m gonna share with you my experience and things I wish I would have known.
1. Separates home and school
One of the things I love about living on South Campus is that it separates my home life with my school life. When I lived in the dorms, it was right in the middle of campus. The class buildings were just a two minute walk away and it always felt like I couldn’t relax. South Campus gave me the feeling of “home” that I never felt while living in the dorms. I found that having a space away from the main campus not only helped with my mental health but even improved my work ethic when it came to school.
2. Space & Storage
Another benefit of living in an actual apartment is how much more space you have compared to a dorm room. In the South Campus Apartments, you have a full bathroom, kitchen and living room in addition to a double or single room that you sleep in. Not having to cram all of your stuff onto one side of a small dorm room, is definitely an upgrade. Not to mention, not having to carry all of your shower supplies down a hallway is always nice!
Having a full kitchen means I can make actual meals compared to the dorm meals I made with a microwave and plug in waffle maker. For students who may not be the biggest fans of the dining hall food, access to your own kitchen is perfect for you. However, a downside I’ve found to this is the price of groceries add up quickly and food disappears way faster than you realize.
Being down the road from the main campus, the school provides shuttle buses that take students from South to North campus, and back. The shuttle runs from 7:15 a.m. – 2:15 a.m on weekdays. During the weekends it runs from 10:00 a.m. – 2:15 a.m. There’s even a WCU Shuttle app you can download, to see when the buses are coming.
Something I’ve noticed during my time here in the South during the weekends, is that the weekend shuttle never usually starts on time. There have been multiple weekends when I’ve gotten ready to head to North campus in the morning to go get coffee, or to go into town and the bus didn’t end up starting its rounds until hours later. So, for students who don’t have a license this can be inconvenient and time consuming.
Like I previously mentioned, South Campus is great for separating home and school. It’s fairly quiet overall, and you don’t see many people walking around. With that being said, unless you have a lot of friends that also live on South, it can get a little boring very quickly. It’s also down the road, so going out to pick up some things turns into a longer process. For example, going to get coffee at Saxby’s. In the dorms, I was able to roll out of bed and walk to a coffee shop. On South, I have to get ready and then wait for the bus. Simple tasks and activities end up taking a little more time due to the location.
6. Roommates & Responsibilities
The most significant difference from living in the dorms to South Campus is the amount of roommates you have. In a typical dorm, you have either one roommate or two depending on if you’re living in a double or triple dorm. On South Campus, you could have up to 5 roommates. Meaning, it’s very important to delegate responsibilities between roommates in order to have a happy living situation. Living in a space with a full kitchen, bathroom, and living room means there is way more areas for things like chores to keep the space you guys share clean for everyone. It’s also extremely important to respect one another’s space, and to communicate quickly if issues arise to avoid conflict.
Living on South Campus, has come with things I absolutely love like a private bathroom and some things that I don’t love so much. Overall, I would recommend anyone to look into their options and see if South Campus would be a good fit for you!