SNHU Sign (image courtesy: Taylor Posik)

People often grow up aspiring to attend their dream college; the place where they belong. Between watching movies and reading books, people envision themselves in place of the characters living the ‘perfect’ college experience. However, expectations were marred over the past few years.

Despite the setbacks, the SNHU community overcame every obstacle and now has a chance for a fresh start. As incoming and returning students begin a new school year, the SNHU community must come together to create a home and establish a strong community on campus.

Resident Life

For many, part of the college experience involves living in a dorm. Students fantasize about how they will decorate, who they’ll invite over, and overall, how to make it their own. Dorms become a sanctuary, a place to study, and a hub; but especially, they become a second home to many during their time away from loved ones. 

Living on campus can feel like being in a bubble, cut off from the outside world. However, residents are not limited to campus. Students residing on campus have the freedom to explore places they never have seen.

A good home is made of cherished stories and genuine connections. For residents to make memories with their peers, they need to be provided with opportunities to go off campus. Local activities help students form bonds and branch out beyond their personal borders.

Life contains a balance of routine and spontaneity. It’s in the moments of breaking free from a typical day where people find inspiration. This can drive a student to excel in their education.

There is more to see beyond the campus boundaries; new adventures await. In the end, the fabric woven by the SNHU community can only grow so long as there are more stories to be told.

Commuter Life

Unlike student residents, commuters travel from near and far every day to go to class and return home.

Time management is a balancing act for commuters. By late afternoon, many have returned home or to their off-campus jobs. Between traveling to and from campus, attending classes, completing assignments, and taking care of outside obligations, there is limited time for extracurriculars and campus activities. This can isolate commuters from the rest of the campus population, leading to a college experience seemingly less grandeur than those living on campus.

Participation outside of class is the key to meeting new people, something that commuters don’t always have access to. Additionally, it helps students discover new interests. Hosting accessible events and holding organization meetings at universal times can make campus feel more inclusive.

The SNHU campus community is an eclectic group of different backgrounds and stories, but everyone is on the same team: Team Penmen. The difference-maker in choosing to stay on campus or return home is the desire to be recognized as a member of the SNHU community.

Events

College is for experimenting and meeting new people as much as it is for building and refining skills for a chosen career path. Success doesn’t only come with hard work, but equally in times of simply enjoying life. People say, “work hard, play hard,” however; this cannot be fulfilled with all “work” and no “play.” 

From BINGO night hosted by CAPE to Radio SNHU’s Karaoke night, there’s an event for everyone to participate in. Activities get students through stressful times, while also helping them create connections with their peers. Campus becomes more enjoyable when students can take a break from being adults and find their inner youth.

SNHU hosts events for entertainment and provides students with educational experiences. The Career Fair is held every semester to assist students in their life paths following college. In-person career fairs allow students to develop their professional network, gain experiences, and build connections. Attending such events can help students feel more prepared following their time in college.

While campus has a plethora of opportunities to offer, students have to be willing to take part in them. With normalcy within arm’s reach, hosting more in-person events can help students loosen up, build confidence, and establish a stronger campus community.

Students need the chance to put themselves out there to find their interests and highlight their skills. Learning and having new experiences don’t only occur in a classroom; there is more to learn out in the world if given the chance.

Campus Offerings

People habitually gravitate toward areas that are more popular, such as the Last Chapter Pub. The Pub is where students let loose and meet up with friends between adult responsibilities. Some other areas on campus are meant for student use, but lack in attendance due to limited offerings.

The fireplace area in the library was once frequented by students; however, the adjoining cafe remained closed after students returned to campus. Now, the space is emptier than years past because students don’t have a reason to visit. To bring more people back to spaces like the library commons, they need to be provided with amenities that make it feel warmer and lived in.

Bringing back the cafe can create a homier environment, as students tend to need breaks between study sessions. These breaks typically involve forms of caffeine, because as all college students know, doing homework requires energy and the ability to remain awake.

Another location on campus that lacked foot traffic is what once was the McIninch Art Gallery located in Robert Frost. As mentioned in a previous Penmen Press article, the new purpose of the space is to reflect SNHU. 

This decision has the potential to be viable so long as the voices of SNHU contribute. Everyone has a story to tell that can touch others. In order to bring students to the new showcase, highlighting it and demonstrating support can build interest.

Expression of thoughts and emotions evokes inspiration, which can motivate students in the midst of their studies. Seeing different perspectives across campus can not only benefit in expanding a student’s knowledge, but help them feel closer to their peers.

Conclusion

Now is the time for the SNHU community to decide how the school year will proceed. There’s a lot that students have to say. The only way to give their voices meaning is by being willing to listen.

Everything SNHU has to offer to students in the journey to the rest of their lives is with the intention to help them make the most of their time in college. This goal is equally engrained in how everyone works together to make campus life the best it can be.

To many, college is a time for broadening horizons academically and socially. However, college doesn’t last forever. It’s a time for students to try new things, take risks, and live their lives to the fullest.

The world goes on outside of a screen and being on campus is for making memories. More than anything, it’s the SNHU community that can help to make campus feel like a home away from home.

Taylor Posik
Taylor joined the Penmen Press team in her freshman year as a staff writer. Since then, she has been on the copy team, an A&E Editor, and News Editor. She has since moved up to being Co-Editor-in-Chief for her senior year. After graduation, she hopes to get her Masters in Communication and begin a career in journalism. For fun, she writes songs and plays the piano.