The Yale Ledger is a student-led magazine showcasing content from around the Yale community.

If you are affiliated with the Yale student community and have an article you want to share, please email Layla Winston.

If you notice any spam or inappropriate content, please contact us so we can remove it.

Performance in a pandemic: How Yale artists adapted to life during COVID

One of the COVID-19 pandemic’s many harsh impacts has been its stifling effect on live performance. From the days when Broadway went dark to the crash of the arts economy that followed, performers worldwide have felt the consequences of the pandemic over the past two years.

The same has also been true at Yale, which is home to dozens of performance groups, not to mention hundreds of students whose academic curricula require honing their skills in front of live audiences.

But, as they say, the show must go on. And from the earliest days of the pandemic, through the recurrent waves, Yalies have taken creative steps to keep performance alive, exploring ways to engage in their craft — and connect with audiences — in safe and meaningful ways.

This spring, the campus has enjoyed a slow return of live performance, from the reopening of the Yale Repertory Theatre in February to in-person concerts at Yale School of Music. But the process has been a slow, unsteady one, forcing students, faculty, and staff to find innovative ways to convene with each other and communicate their art to audiences. They’ve produced online plays, staged virtual musical collaborations, recorded dance videos, and devised strategies that allowed technical crews to operate remotely.

More than two years since stages went quiet, we take a look back at some of these ways the Yale community found to keep performing.

Together, we adapted,” said Yale School of Music Dean Robert Blocker. “And with the help of technology and even the availability of outdoor spaces on our campus, our students have been able to continue their impassioned work, albeit in less-than ideal circumstances.”

Finding the ‘mood in a Zoom room’

For the Theater and Performance Studies program, whose mission is grounded in live, embodied transmission of knowledge, the pandemic presented obvious and immediate barriers. During the first year of the pandemic, including the entirety of the 2020-21 school year, social distancing requirements prevented artists from rehearsing onstage and performing before audiences in theaters.

So in February, 2021, Emily Coates, professor in the practice of Theater and Performance Studies, helped launch a new project. “Transpositions: Dance Poems for an Online World” gave artists work and creative outlets, while fostering connections for students through space.

Created in collaboration with the Yale Dance Lab — a faculty-directed, co-curricular arts research initiative — in partnership with the Yale Schwarzman Center, the project connected students with 16 professional choreographers to create digital “dance poems.”

The project helped us learn more about what the virtual space can and can’t do,” said Coates, who has a secondary appointment in the directing program at the David Geffen School of Drama. “‘Space-eating,’ a stage practice that enables performers to fly across a stage, which makes dance spectacular — is not an option, squeezed in a bedroom, dancing between your bed and dresser!”

But Coates and the other Transpositions collaborators found surprising possibilities of dancing on Zoom.

Energy exchange is possible over Zoom — that was a clear lesson,” Coates said. “You can feel the mood in a Zoom room, and you can tune in to what another mover is putting out into the space, even on mute, by really listening to their energy.”

Theater Studies professors Nathan Roberts and Elise Morrison also explored some of the profound possibilities of digital performance. The pair co-taught a course during the spring semester in 2021 year called “Alone Together: Live Performance during COVID-19.”

When Broadway shut down in March 2020, it didn’t seem clear how performance would continue,” Roberts said. “Elise and I noticed there were an astonishing amount of creative performance that occurred in the eight months immediately after that moment that was really worthy of attention and study.”

The course analyzed past digital works and culminated in an original live performance by two students over Zoom. The performance, titled “Camera-Ready,” explored themes of surveillance through a “choose your own adventure” style plot, allowing the audience to make choices that would influence the paths the show could take.

Our hope in creating this class was to help students understand that the work emerging in the midst of the global pandemic was extraordinary, but that it was actually a continuation of a long lineage of digital performance,” Roberts said.

In his role as production manager for the curricular Theater Studies season, Roberts and his colleague, Technical Director Tom Delgado, helped students and faculty use technology to create an innovative and robust virtual theater season during the pandemic.

Working with Yale Information Technology Services, they set up remote network systems so that individual actors could access the theater while stage and tech crews worked remotely. These systems allowed directors, lighting designers, sound engineers, and stage managers to control digital equipment far from the stage.

In fact, for one show — a senior project by Chayton Pabich Danyla ‘21 called “Flores caídos” — a stage manager triggered lighting, sound, and camera cues using his smartphone. At the time he was in California. For this show, Pabich Danyla was allowed to work unmasked, in total isolation in the theater, while all other collaborators worked remotely. This show, which premiered in October 2020, was the first senior project of the 2020-2021 season, and the department’s first attempt at a virtual production.

Our students are developing skills that are going to serve them in their work beyond Yale, because they’ve been practiced in crafting digital theater,” said Roberts. “It’s going to be another tool they can draw upon in making their own work marketable to producers, designers and directors.”

Finding silver linings

During the first year of the pandemic, student extracurricular groups also used hybrid formats. Rhythmic Blue, Yale’s hip hop-inspired dance group, learned dances on Zoom and recorded videos of their group dancing in-person and distanced in Beinecke Plaza. The group shared videos on social media, creating a series of virtual dance numbers.

While connecting and dancing over Zoom was lovely, nothing beats moving together and feeding off each other’s energy in real life,” said Ke’ala Akau ’22, who served as co-president of Rhythmic Blue last year. [But] during a time that often felt so physically isolating, I cherished the opportunity to simply be with people.”

The hybrid experience revealed some other silver linings.

Learning movement over Zoom comes with its own challenges such as impaired visibility of the choreographer, directionality challenges, and missing out on nuances in the choreographer’s quality of movement,” Akau said. “This made it difficult to exactly match the choreographer. However, I believe these changes allowed for more interesting, stylistic interpretation of the movements which, as a choreographer, I loved seeing.”

This year, members of Rhythmic Blue were able to resume in-person semester showcases with reduced capacity and masked dancers and audience members.

COVID-19 also disrupted Yale’s vibrant a cappella community. By developing careful public health procedures, however, campus groups were able to resume in-person performances this spring.

The Yale Singing Group Council (SGC), an umbrella organization for a cappella groups led by four senior co-chairs, helped make it possible for a safe return to in-person singing by crafting protocols. This year’s season kicked off in early September with a hybrid concert in Sheffield-Sterling-Strathcona Hall featuring 16 groups singing before prospective group members.

The excitement and enthusiasm for a cappella from groups and prospective members this year was unlike any other I’ve seen,” said Grace Larrabee ’22, a SGC co-chair who is a member of the group Whim ‘n Rhythm. “The a cappella community on Yale’s campus is so special. I felt honored to have been a part of its return.”

Yale Symphony Orchestra
Yale Symphony Orchestra (Photo by Anisë Murseli)

All together now

During the 2020-21 school year, rehearsals for the Yale Symphony Orchestra (YSO) were performed virtually on Zoom, with groups of musicians split up by instrument.

Last fall, however, musicians were able to rehearse live and in real time, wearing masks. Featuring 93 members, the orchestra performs four concerts per year, plus specialty concerts such as the Halloween Show and a joint “Messiah” concert with the Yale Glee Club. Tickets for this year’s Halloween Show, which was held in person with restricted capacity, sold out in under a minute.

The fact that musicians are able to gather in one place and make music again was a breath of fresh air,” said Supriya Weiss ’24, student president of YSO.

A few weeks into rehearsal last fall, Weiss relished the energy of returning to performance. “You can hear the excitement of the orchestra in every note we play. More than anything, this past year showed me the unwavering resilience of our musicians.”

At the Yale School of Music, during the early months of the pandemic students relied on online instruction and outdoor rehearsals in response to public health restrictions, said Dean Robert Blocker.

Now, nearly two years later, the School of Music is inviting audiences to witness the extraordinary musical gifts of students in person once again. Concerts at the Yale School of Music, which are held in venues such as Sudler Recital Hall, Morse Recital Hall, and Woolsey Hall, are now open to members of the public who are asymptomatic and vaccinated.

Performing for live audiences is what drives and motivates us, and it is what inspires and offers hope to our audiences,” Blocker said. “For our students, whose optimism and spirit gave us the confidence to find a way forward during seemingly impossible conditions, this moment is well deserved.”

Article originally published at YaleNews: https://news.yale.edu/2022/05/06/performance-pandemic-how-yale-artists-adapted-life-during-covid

10 Modern Cosmetic Procedures You Need to Know About

The world of cosmetics and skincare has seen a dramatic transformation over the past few decades. From rudimentary treatments to cutting-edge technologies, the evolution of cosmetic procedures in modern skincare has been marked by innovation, cultural shifts, and a growing understanding of dermatological health. This article explores 10 modern cosmetic procedures out there today, that capture the essence of the transformation in the industry.

The use of cosmetic procedures dates back to ancient civilizations, where natural elements were harnessed in the pursuit of beauty and health. However, it wasn’t until the 20th century that cosmetic procedures began to take the shape familiar to us today, spurred by advances in medicine and technology.

Technology has undoubtedly been the biggest game-changer in the evolution of cosmetic procedures. Innovative tools and devices have led to safer, more efficient treatments, reducing risks and side effects. Furthermore, the integration of AI and machine learning into skincare diagnostics is set to revolutionize how we approach skin health.

As we stepped into the 21st century, a significant shift occurred towards non-invasive or minimally invasive procedures. These are popular for their ability to offer substantial results with minimal impact on a person’s life and usual routine.

The global landscape has significantly influenced the development and adoption of cosmetic procedures. Trends from Asia, Europe, and the Americas have cross-pollinated, leading to a rich diversity of techniques and products available worldwide. This globalization of beauty standards has also introduced new challenges and considerations in the adoption of cosmetic procedures, taking into account varying skin types and cultural perceptions of beauty.

As awareness of environmental sustainability and ethical practices grows, the cosmetic industry is being called to adapt. The development and use of cosmetic procedures are increasingly viewed through the lens of their environmental impact and ethical implications. This has led to a surge in demand for treatments that are not only effective but also sustainable and ethically sourced.

In recent years, there’s been a focus on customization and personalization in cosmetic procedures. Advances in genomics and dermatology now allow for treatments tailored to an individual’s specific skin type and concerns, ensuring more effective and targeted solutions.

So what are some of the most popular modern cosmetic treatments you should know more about at this moment in time? Here are 10 of them.

1. Botox Injections

Botox, a form of botulinum toxin, is widely used to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles and fine lines. By temporarily paralyzing muscles, it can also be effective in treating certain medical conditions like excessive sweating. Botox treatments in Montreal have gained attention for their effectiveness in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, with most individuals experiencing minimal to no downtime.

2. Chemical Peels

This involves the application of a chemical solution to the skin, causing it to exfoliate and eventually peel off. This reveals regenerated skin that’s usually smoother and less wrinkled, improving the overall texture and appearance. Chemical peels can vary in intensity from light to deep, catering to different skin issues and patient comfort levels. They are particularly effective in addressing acne, age spots, and hyperpigmentation, offering a versatile solution for enhancing skin clarity and radiance.

3. Laser Therapies

Laser treatments cover a wide range of cosmetic procedures, from reducing facial redness and scars to eliminating unwanted hair and tattoos. These treatments work by focusing light energy to perform precise skin improvements. Laser therapies have the advantage of targeted precision, which allows for the treatment of specific skin concerns without damaging surrounding tissues. This precision not only contributes to the effectiveness of the treatment but also minimizes recovery time, making it a preferred option for many seeking cosmetic improvements.

4. Microdermabrasion

This non-invasive procedure uses a minimally abrasive instrument to gently sand your skin, removing the thicker, uneven outer layer. It is effective for treating light scarring, discoloration, sun damage, and stretch marks. Microdermabrasion can also improve age spots and blackheads, offering a fresher, younger-looking complexion. It stimulates blood flow, which enhances the nutrition delivered to skin cells, improving cell production and skin elasticity.

5. Collagen Injections

These are designed to replenish the skin’s natural collagen levels, filling in wrinkles and restoring skin volume. Collagen injections are a popular choice for achieving a more youthful appearance. Collagen, being a key protein in the skin that decreases with age, makes these injections vital for those aiming to combat the visible effects of aging. Furthermore, they can also enhance lip volume and improve the appearance of scars, contributing to a smoother, more vibrant skin texture.

6. Preventative Techniques

Reflecting a shift towards maintaining skin health, preventative techniques focus on early intervention. This includes the use of sunscreen, antioxidants, and retinoids to prevent signs of aging before they start. Preventative skincare is increasingly recognized for its role in minimizing the need for invasive procedures later on by keeping skin healthy and resilient from a young age. It emphasizes the importance of a consistent, daily skin-care regimen tailored to individual skin needs and environmental factors.

7. Dermal Fillers

Made from hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxylapatite, and other substances, dermal fillers help in volumizing lips, enhancing shallow contours, softening facial creases, and removing wrinkles. The versatility of dermal fillers also allows them to be used in correcting asymmetries and rejuvenating hands and neck areas, providing a comprehensive solution for age-related concerns.

8. Fat Transfers

This procedure, also known as fat grafting, involves transferring fat from areas with excess fat to areas that may be lacking in volume, such as the face, hands, and breasts, offering more permanent results than traditional fillers. Fat transfer procedures not only enhance aesthetic appeal but also promote a natural feel and appearance by utilizing the body’s own tissues.

9. Ultherapy

A non-surgical ultrasound treatment that stimulates collagen production to lift, tone, and tighten loose skin over time, oftentimes used on the face, neck, and chest. Ultherapy is renowned for its ability to deliver noticeable results without the downtime associated with traditional surgery, making it an attractive option for those seeking subtle yet significant improvements.

10. Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

This combines light-based therapy with a photosensitizing agent, targeting specific skin issues like acne, cancerous cells, and rosacea, improving overall skin health. PDT has gained recognition for its precision and minimal invasiveness, offering an effective treatment pathway without the need for extensive recovery times.

As we look toward the future, it’s clear that the realm of cosmetic procedures will continue to evolve, shaped by ongoing innovations, societal values, and global influences. The commitment to safer, more personalized, and ethically sound practices will likely drive the next wave of advancements, making the future of cosmetic procedures even more promising and exciting for both providers and recipients alike.

The evolution of cosmetic procedures in modern skincare is a testament to human ingenuity and the relentless pursuit of health and beauty. From ancient rubs and ointments to today’s high-tech solutions, cosmetic procedures have come a long way, offering myriad options for those seeking to enhance their natural beauty or address specific skin concerns. As technology and society continue to evolve, so too will the methods we use to care for our skin, promising an exciting future for the world of cosmetics and skincare.

Discover the Unique Beauty of the Magnificent 7 Natural Wonders

In a world filled with bustling cities and hectic schedules, it’s easy to lose sight of the beauty and wonder surrounding you. But among the chaos of modern life is several natural marvels waiting to be explored and appreciated. From the serene tranquility of a misty mountain peak to the raw power of a cascading waterfall, our planet is filled with wonders that invite us to slow down, take a deep breath, and immerse ourselves in the beauty of the natural world.

Strive to have journeys that enrich your soul, expand your perspective, and create a deeper connection to the world around you. Whether you’re planning a solo adventure or sharing the experience with loved ones, intentional travel allows you to engage with your surroundings and have lasting memories that will stay with you long after the journey ends. Here are seven natural wonders in America that offer a unique glimpse into the Earth’s geological history with inspiring views and fascinating stories. 

Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is amazing and stands as a testament to the power of erosion and geological processes that have sculpted its vast expanse over millions of years. Stretching for 277 miles and plunging to depths of over a mile, the Grand Canyon is a jaw-dropping spectacle of colorful rock formations, deep ravines, and winding river valleys. Visitors to this iconic wonder are treated to panoramic views that reveal the sheer magnitude of nature’s handiwork.

At sunrise and sunset, the canyon’s cliffs come alive with hues of red, orange, and gold, casting a magical glow over the landscape. Hiking trails and scenic overlooks offer adventurers the chance to immerse themselves in the canyon’s beauty while rafting trips down the Colorado River provide a thrilling perspective from below! Whether gazing out from the rim or descending into its depths, the Grand Canyon never fails to leave a lasting impression on all who visit it.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is a wonderland of geothermal features, wildlife habitats, and pristine wilderness. Home to half of the world’s geysers, including the famous Old Faithful, Yellowstone’s thermal wonders showcase the Earth’s inner workings dramatically. From bubbling mud pots to technicolor hot springs, the park’s hydrothermal features offer a glimpse into the forces that shape our planet.

Beyond its geothermal wonders, Yellowstone is also a haven for wildlife, with populations of bison, elk, grizzly bears, and wolves roaming its land mass. You can explore the park’s network of hiking trails, marvel at its towering waterfalls, and take in the beauty of its alpine lakes and forests. There’s nothing like watching a geyser erupt or spotting a bison grazing in a meadow to inspire wonder and appreciation for the natural world.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is perhaps one of the most famous natural wonders in the world, drawing millions of visitors each year to witness the sheer power and beauty of falling water. Straddling the border between the United States and Canada, the falls consist of three separate cascades: the American Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls, and the Horseshoe Falls. Together, they form a spectacle that is as mesmerizing as it is awe-inspiring.

You can experience the falls up close aboard a Maid of the Mist boat tour, which takes you directly to the base of the falls for a thrilling encounter with nature’s raw power. For those seeking a bird’s-eye view, helicopter tours offer a unique perspective on the falls from above. If you’re traveling with a large group, another option is to explore this natural wonder through organized tours. You can check out your options with searches like charter bus Toronto and find transportation that works for you. 

Yosemite National Park 

Yosemite National Park, located in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains has towering granite cliffs, thundering waterfalls, and ancient sequoia trees that rank among the largest living organisms on Earth. At the heart of the park is Yosemite Valley, a glacially carved canyon surrounded by iconic landmarks like El Capitan, Half Dome, and Bridalveil Fall. These natural wonders have inspired artists, photographers, and adventurers for generations, drawing visitors from around the world to witness their grandeur.

Hiking trails lead to breathtaking viewpoints and hidden gems tucked away in the park’s backcountry, offering endless opportunities for exploration and discovery. Whether marveling at the sheer height of El Capitan, feeling the mist of Yosemite Falls on your face, or wandering among ancient groves of giant sequoias, Yosemite’s beauty is pleasantly diverse. With each visit, Yosemite reveals new wonders and reaffirms its status as one of the crown jewels of America’s national park system.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Along the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a paradise for nature lovers. Named for the blue mist that often shrouds its peaks and valleys, the Smokies are home to a rich tapestry of plant and animal life. From dense forests of towering hardwoods to cascading waterfalls and meandering streams, the park’s landscapes are a testament to the power of nature to create beauty and diversity.

Hiking trails wind through the park’s rugged terrain, giving you the chance to explore hidden waterfalls, historic homesteads, and panoramic vistas. The park’s diverse ecosystems support a wide range of wildlife, including black bears, white-tailed deer, and more than 200 species of birds! 

Denali National Park

In the heart of the Alaskan wilderness lies Denali National Park, home to North America’s tallest peak and some of the most amazing wilderness on the continent. Dominated by the towering presence of Denali, the park’s landscapes are a study in contrasts, from towering mountains and glaciers to braided rivers.

Wildlife thrives in this rugged environment, with grizzly bears, wolves, and caribou roaming freely across the park’s expanse. You can explore the park’s wilderness on foot, by bus, or even from the air, with flightseeing tours offering unparalleled views of the park’s towering peaks and expansive glaciers. 

Zion National Park 

Zion National Park, located in southern Utah, is a land of towering cliffs, narrow slot canyons, and vibrant desert landscapes. Carved by the meandering waters of the Virgin River, Zion Canyon has towering sandstone walls that glow with fiery hues at sunrise and sunset.

Hiking trails lead you through the park’s stunning landscapes, from the lush oasis of the Zion Narrows to the dizzying heights of Angels Landing. But if you’re an adrenaline seeker, Zion offers world-class rock climbing and canyoneering opportunities, with sheer cliffs and narrow slot canyons providing a playground for adventure. 

Final Thoughts 

The magnificent seven natural wonders are a testament to the power and beauty of the natural world. From the towering cliffs of the Grand Canyon to the mist-shrouded valleys of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, each wonder offers a glimpse into the forces that have shaped our planet and the resilience of the natural world. Whether exploring these wonders in person or simply marveling at them from afar, one thing is certain: these places will continue to inspire wonder and awe for generations to come.

Minimalist Living: How to Do It

The concept of minimalist living appeals to many people. Especially if you’re surrounded by a lot of clutter in your home or work life, the idea of minimalism feels a little bit like escapism. But what is the reality of achieving a minimalist home? And is it even a concept that is right for you?

Minimalism is all about living with less. Less clutter, less stress, and less being tied down by possessions. But how do you transition from a life of abundance, to one of deliberate simplicity? And it will it really make you feel better?

So is minimalism even worth it? Some of the latest research published by social scientists shows that there are tangible benefits of minimalism. Studies show that adopting a minimalist lifestyle can lead to a decrease in stress, anxiety, and depression. People say this contributes to an overall increase in happiness and life satisfaction. Believe it or not, even the practice of decluttering and living with less material possessions helps. It not only simplifies physical spaces, but also clears mental clutter. You could say that the process of becoming a minimalist person is a process that improves your mental state. It makes you focused and peaceful when you have been directly responsible for a positive change.

Minimalism actually encourages individuals to live more intentionally too. Studies show that people who live in a minimalist environment tend to make choices that align more closely with their personal values and aspirations. You could say that making minimalism a decision for your life gives you control, and has a positive knock-on effect onto other aspects of your life. Overall, this enhances feelings of fulfillment, and gives you a feeling of purpose in life.

If you’re sold on the idea of minimalism, how do you actually achieve it?

Declutter Your Space

This is the most obvious step towards minimalism. You’ll need to be ruthless in deciding what you truly need and value, and what can go. Donate or sell items that no longer serve a purpose or bring joy to your life. Keep only the things that are essential for daily living.

Decluttering doesn’t mean there’s no space to be sentimental. You’ll just have to be selective about the items you keep that hold sentimental value. Limit yourself to a certain number of sentimental items and display them in a meaningful way.

Take Control of Your Finances

Minimalism is also about not being tied down by material possessions – including debt. Take control of your finances by creating a budget and sticking to it. Cut down on unnecessary expenses and live within your means. This will not only give you financial freedom, but also a sense of peace and security. In order to spend as little as possible while freeing yourself from an untenable mortgage, you may want to learn how to sell a house without a realtor. Relieving the debt you have on your own terms is an empowering way to direct your life down a path of minimalism.

Experiences Matter!

Until recently, material possessions were what everyone wanted. But you don’t need material possessions to create meaningful memories. Instead of spending money on buying things (this could be cars, clothes or cats!), invest in experiences. This could be travel – many people love the idea of seeing the Taj Mahal or soaking up Venice from the canals. But it could equally be about spending time with loved ones. A weekly catch up with Granny over coffee could enrich your life! Or take up a new hobby. Experiences have a longer lasting impact and create memories you’ll talk about for years.

Every time you’re tempted to buy something material, pause and consider if that money could be better spent on an experience. You’ll likely find that investing in experiences brings you more happiness than buying material possessions.

Be A Mindful Consumer

Minimalism is not just about getting rid of things. It’s also being mindful about what you consume. It means being intentional with purchases and buying items that serve a purpose. If there is something you want to buy ‘just because’, wait a week or two and see if you still really want it. This is a good test for whether something is really valuable to you, or whether you just wanted to buy it on a whim.

Mindful consumption also means being aware of the impact your consumption has on the environment and making conscious choices to reduce waste. We’re all being reminded of how we need to build a more sustainable future daily in the news. This could be a small step towards playing your part.

Take A Digital Detox

Getting off digital devices can actually feel like an indulgence. If you’re like most people, phones, laptops and tablets require your attention constantly. It’s a different kind of clutter in your life. Minimalism is about simplifying, so take a digital detox every now and then. Spend time away from screens, limit social media use and focus on engaging in real-life activities instead.

Old school activities like coloring books and crafting can be a great alternative to digital devices. You’ll benefit from a little creativity and mindfulness in the process. Studies show that activities like these that happen away from screens can be meditative and reduce anxiety. It’s also low cost entertainment and a way to accomplish something other than a chore or a work task – which is welcome to many people who lead busy lives.

Minimalism may seem like it’s just a fancy word for decluttering or giving up your possessions. But it’s actually a concept that resonates much more deeply with a lot of people. Many people consider it to be a shift of mindset. It’s about valuing experiences more than items. It’s about finding purpose and happiness in the simple things in life. It tends to help people make positive steps for themselves in life too. Living intentionally, being true to yourself, and being more stress-free. Sounds amazing, right? Ultimately, minimalism is about making more room for what matters to you. Whether it’s about personal possessions and finding space in your home to take a breath. Or whether it’s about freeing yourself from financial burdens and other things that aren’t a necessity for your life. Minimalism is yours to define.

Top 5 Factors You Should Consider Before Choosing on-Campus Living

Deciding where to live during your college years involves selecting an environment that will influence your daily life, academic performance, and social interactions. On-campus living offers unique benefits and challenges, making it essential to carefully weigh all the factors before making your decision. Living on campus can profoundly impact your college experience, affecting everything from your academic success to your social life and personal growth.

It’s not just about the convenience of being close to classes but also about the opportunities for community involvement, access to resources, and the overall college culture you’ll be immersing yourself in. This decision can set the tone for your college life, influencing your study habits, social networks, and future career prospects.

It’s important to consider all aspects of on-campus living to determine if it fits your personal, academic, and financial goals. Here are the top five factors to consider before choosing on-campus living, each critical to ensuring that your college experience is both rewarding and aligned with your long-term aspirations.

Cost and Affordability

The financial aspect of on-campus living is often the most significant factor for many students and their families. On the surface, on-campus housing might appear more expensive due to upfront costs, including room and board, meal plans, and other fees. But you should evaluate these costs in the context of the overall college experience and budget.

Pay close attention to the details of your financial aid package. Many universities offer aid that specifically covers room and board. Scholarships and grants might also apply to on-campus housing costs, which can substantially reduce out-of-pocket expenses. Investigating these options can provide a clearer picture of the actual cost of living on campus.

While off-campus housing might seem less expensive at first, it often comes with hidden costs that can add up quickly. These include utilities, internet, furniture, and transportation expenses to and from campus. Living off-campus could also require a longer-term lease commitment, which could be financially burdensome if you plan to leave for the summer or study abroad.

Convenience and Accessibility

The convenience and accessibility of living on campus are significant factors that can enhance the college experience. Being close to academic buildings, libraries, and other campus facilities can save time and energy, which you can use for studying, participating in campus activities, or simply relaxing. One of the most tangible benefits of on-campus living is the reduction in travel time.

Living steps away from classrooms means you can easily attend early morning or late evening lectures, group meetings, and study sessions without the stress of commuting. This proximity can be particularly beneficial during exam periods or inclement weather when travel becomes more challenging.

On-campus residents have easy access to resources that can support their academic and personal lives. Libraries, computer labs, study lounges, and tutoring centers are usually within walking distance, helping to create better study habits and academic engagement. 

Campus Safety

Safety is a critical consideration when choosing on-campus living. Universities typically prioritize the safety of their students by implementing comprehensive security measures. Although some students overlook this important factor, a safe living environment contributes to the overall well-being and peace of mind of students and their families.

Many campuses are equipped with extensive safety measures, including 24-hour campus security patrols, well-lit pathways, secure residence hall access, and emergency call stations scattered throughout the campus. These measures are designed to create a secure environment where students can feel safe at all times. You should investigate these security features and consider how they align with your personal safety needs.

There are many external and internal threats to students, whether they live on campus or not. Large, open campuses might have more safety measures than a poorly lit breezeway at an apartment complex. But they also have lots of people coming and going. Regarding campus size, Texas A&M University in College Station boasts the largest campus in Texas, covering over 5,200 acres. Its massive size means that the university has to maintain a robust and comprehensive safety infrastructure.

Texas A&M, like many large universities, invests heavily in campus safety, providing extensive security services and resources to ensure the well-being of its large student population. Students benefit from understanding both the physical safety measures in place and the legal resources available to them, like Texas Title 9 Student Defense Attorneys, to address any concerns that may arise during their time on campus. Being informed about all available resources on and off campus is crucial to ensuring a safe and supportive college experience.

Community and Social Networking

Living on campus provides a unique opportunity for community and social integration, a vital aspect of the college experience. Immersing yourself in the campus community can lead to meaningful relationships, a sense of belonging, and a supportive network. On-campus living places students at the heart of the university’s social and academic networks.

This proximity allows for spontaneous interactions and connections with peers, faculty, and staff, leading to a more enriching college experience. These relationships can provide academic support, career advice, and personal growth opportunities. Living on campus means being in a dynamic environment where collaboration and community are part of daily life.

It’s still possible to experience this dynamic while living off campus but it may be harder to stay engaged. Universities offer a wide range of cultural and social events, from guest lectures and art exhibitions to sports games and club activities. Staying on campus makes it easier to participate in these events, creating a deeper engagement with the college community. These activities provide entertainment and learning opportunities that help facilitate meeting people with diverse interests and backgrounds

Independence and Personal Development

Choosing to live on campus can be a significant step in your journey toward independence and personal development, especially if living at home with your parents is the alternative. The campus environment offers a unique blend of structure and freedom, allowing you to explore new aspects of yourself. Living on campus means taking on more personal responsibility.

Students must manage their schedules, adhere to campus policies, and navigate daily life independently. This shift from living at home to managing your own space and commitments can be a valuable learning experience. It teaches time management, organization, and self-reliance, skills that are essential for personal and professional success. 

However, off-campus living can immerse students in the local community, providing a different perspective on daily life outside the college environment. Interacting with non-student residents and dealing with real-world issues, like community relations and local governance, can offer valuable life lessons and a broader view of societal functioning.

Final Thoughts 

Independence and personal development are critical aspects of the college experience, and living on campus can significantly enhance these elements. The unique setting of a college campus provides numerous opportunities for students to challenge themselves, develop new skills, and grow into well-rounded individuals ready to take on the world after graduation.