To some outsiders (mostly my mother, and probably most mothers) a men’s college dorm may appear to be a smelly, dirty, loud environment that someone should avoid if at all possible. But until you’ve lived in the dorm, you may not be able to fully grasp how that seemingly putrid smell is the smell of a group of guys coming back from an adventure on campus, the dirt reminds us of where we came from and how to get where we’re going, plus it doesn’t bother most of us, and the loudness is a joyful loudness whether it be music, guys wrestling, or laughter throughout the halls.
This is what my experience in the residence hall, Francis Hall, has been so far this semester. I lived in Trinity Residence Hall for my first two years – one as a resident and one as a Resident Assistant and now I am in Francis Hall on the wing of my household – Disciples of the Word. This means that our common room (where we have a few of our commitments/events) is on wing, and seven other guys in my household live right next door. This has been such a blessing for me so far this semester. I absolutely love being so close to so many of my good friends. Our door is constantly open and guys come in and out of my roommate and I’s room multiple times a day. It gives me a chance to catch up with so many guys that I wouldn’t be able to spend quality time with if I lived elsewhere.
In Francis hall and in most halls on campus there are activities hosted for residents and anyone on campus at least once a week. My good friend’s RA program has been popular where residents gather and watch an episode of the Catholicism series and some snack food is provided. There is hall mass at least once a month in the dorm, and many other RA programs. On top of that, guys are almost always around the dorm doing something of interest – playing board games like Settlers of Catan, playing a friendly game of ping-pong (or a competitive game of ping-pong), having a dance party, blasting music, making coffee or doing just about anything you can think of.
Lastly, my favorite part of living in a Franciscan University Resident Hall is that there is a chapel in each dorm. This means that I can walk down the hall at any time during the day or night and spend time with Jesus. This is an incredible gift in my life. Many times, I will also have the gift of spending alone time in the chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. This time is most special to me because Jesus will never again be so accessible to me after residence hall living. I will always be able to drive to a nearby church or chapel and pray there but it will never be down the hall from me, under the same roof as me.
Overall, I know that the Residence Hall living here at Franciscan University is one-of-a-kind. The Resident Assistant’s genuinely care for your well-being – physical, mental, and spiritual, my neighbors are always welcoming and there is always something going on that you can join in on, and Jesus is right down the hallway.
I am so blessed to be attending Franciscan University and living in a wonderful residence hall surrounded by my brothers in Christ.