BYU freshmen skip dorm life, head off campus

By By U Wire

By U Wire

PROVO?Despite the amenities of living on campus, which are enough to entice most freshmen, about 2,000 at Brigham Young University skip life in the dorms and head straight to off-campus housing.

While most freshmen have the convenience of three meals prepared for them on a daily basis, free high-speed Internet connection and a less than five-minute walk to campus, those freshmen living off-campus go without such benefits.

Although on-campus living makes life easier for some freshmen, off-campus housing provides different needs to others. This includes such things as living closer to family members, less rules and the option of having more roommates.

Brittany Thackeray, a sophomore from Kansas City, Mo., majoring in social work, said she doesn’t regret not living in the dorms and enjoyed the fact that since she was “thrown in with an older crowd” right off, she wasn’t labeled as a stereotypically “ditzy” freshman.

Thackeray said she chose to live off-campus her freshman year because she planned on living with her older sister who was a sophomore.

Dave Smith, a freshman from Delta with an undeclared major, said having family off-campus played a big role in his decision to not live in the dorms because “living closer to my sisters made it easier for me.”

Smith said by living off campus as a freshman he has an advantage over other male freshmen because he believes living with returned missionaries better prepared him to serve a LDS mission.

“I’ve already learned so much about what a mission is like because all five of my roommates have served,” Smith said.

The returned-missionary roommates also set an example that helps in preparation for a mission, said Jason Alleman, an open-major freshman from The Colony, Texas.

He said although he feels he missed out on the “freshman interaction of the dorms, I’m glad I lived in an apartment, because with five other roommates you feel like a family.”

Steve Nielsen of the BYU off campus housing office, said that roughly 5,100 students who are mainly freshmen, lived in either Deseret Towers, Heritage Halls or Helaman Halls during Fall Semester 2001. The remaining 2,000 freshmen resided at home or in BYU approved off-campus housing.

U Wire