Four students holding Beat Lafayette scarf

My Campus Housing Experience: Living in Residence Halls Can Help Create Lifelong Friendships

As I left my hometown to venture off into independence at Lehigh, I arrived at McClintic-Marshall bright-eyed and excited for this new chapter of my life. Luckily, I had already befriended my roommate months prior (thank you Diversity Life Weekend!) so we spent the first few hours catching up and unpacking our planned decor.

A girl down our hall popped into our opened door and introduced herself–our first visitor!

“Hi! Do you need help unpacking?” A few moments later, another girl my roommate connected with beforehand came over and hung out with us as we covered our walls with twinkling lights and high school memories.

On that first day alone, and I didn’t know it at the time, but I had found my best friends whom I live with now, four years later.

From Brodhead to Farrington Square, and now living off-campus, we’ve lived and learned how to become adults.

In Brodhead, we lived in a suite-style apartment: two doubles with a shared living room, kitchen and bathroom. Although we all depended on a meal plan and Brodhead’s onsite dining hall back then, our tiny kitchen sparked our love for making meals and hosting gatherings. We created our first chore chart and house rules to navigate our shared living spaces.

Our freedom and space grew as we moved to Farrington the following year. We each had our own room and the amenities doubled! It truly felt like we were living in our own apartment. Our prime location around Farrington Square allowed us easy access to some much-needed coffee from Saxby’s, ice cream from The Cup, and short walks to and from FML.

Now off-campus, we are truly on our own. From learning how to sign and understand leases to maintaining our bills and utilities, my shared experience with my roommates has only been beneficial as I continue to gain more independence and familiarity with the “real world.” Living at Lehigh has truly been a journey that I wouldn’t change for the world. 

The circle of friends, hallmates, and neighbors we’ve met and developed along the way has created a long-lasting community for us here and I truly owe it all to that first move-in day in August of 2017.

From one “home” to another, we always had the place. The one with never ending visitors, shared meals, movie nights, and gatherings–creating moments that I’ll forever cherish and appreciate.

Now as I finish my senior year, I can confidently say I’ve made some of my best memories at Lehigh and have found some of the best people along the way. Honestly, I can’t imagine where I would be now if I hadn’t met my best friends or experienced our chosen residential life and living experience.

They say that who and what we surround ourselves with is who and what we become, and as I reflect on my time here, I’m content with that.