LONG BEACH - Just when you thought summer was coming to an end, the Beach came calling and students from Downey and across Southern California headed back to sunny Cal State Long Beach, including a shipment of forced dormitory-bound freshmen.While it is typical that new and returning students crowd the halls of the Cal State Long Beach dorms, traditionally it has been their choice to be there. This year, however, all freshmen are required to dorm on campus, in hopes of shedding CSULB's image as a commuter campus and to enhance the overall college experience. The new rule may be a burden for some, especially with the high cost of living on campus. For others, however, the rule had no effect on their decision to call the Beach their home. "When I first began thinking about college, I knew that if I were to go to a university that I would want to live on campus. I already had the mindset that I didn't want to be the college student who just went to school and then straight home every day. I want to know what my school has to offer me," said Bresae Brown. The freshman dorming rule, while mandatory, does have its exceptions for certain CSULB students. Those who are married, over the age of 21 or live with their parents are eligible for exemption from the rule. There are definitely plenty of students who would love nothing more than to live on campus and start a new life for themselves, especially when the uncertainty of off-campus living hangs in the balance. "Dorming was always something I wanted to do when I entered college, but I did not think I would dorm at Long Beach because it is close by [to Downey]," said Kenneth Lee. "I found out that my parents were moving out of Downey, maybe Texas, so this gave me the perfect chance to dorm. The rule actually changed my mind and made me dorm because I could not live with my parents." Living on campus or not, the freshman could not be more excited about entering into the next phase of their life. There is much to explore on campus and much to learn and like all eager freshman students, they want to do it all. "I'm looking forward to the whole college experience. I'm fortunate enough to live on campus and see firsthand what college is really like. With all of the activities that CSULB has to offer, from the sporting events to the bowling alley in the Student Union, I'll never be bored," said Brown. Fortunately for students like Kenneth Lee, who was lucky enough to be the recipient of last year's Bob and Michelle Winningham scholarship award, he has used that money towards his new dormitory life. The weekend leading up to the first day of classes, Lee, along with countless others, packed the CSULB parking lots and dorm halls, with family members helping their students successfully move into their dorms. The first day is always the hardest, but Lee and some of his fellow dorm-mates had already experienced dorm life over the summer at the SOAR orientation. "When I attended my SOAR event, I went to the two day orientation. I did this because I was going to dorm. I met a lot of people and even saw some people I had not seen since middle school. I did feel like dorming was a good choice for me because I always wanted to be an independent person," said Lee.
********** Published: September 2, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 20