By Sam Draut–
I spent my first year at the University of Louisville living in the presidential suite at Unitas Tower, and though my prowess as an RSA president gave me various benefits, I decided to move off-campus for my final three years of studies. But, I decided to stay within walking distance of campus to remain relevant within student life and focus on academic development.
While some of my fellow residents decided to move home after their one year experience as an on-campus student, I made the right choice residing near the Belknap campus to finish out my collegiate career. There are plenty advantages of living at home, but the bad can sometimes far outweigh the good.
Roll out— I’m a 10 minute walk from campus and a two minute drive. It’s easy to roll out of bed and be ready for class. The biggest question people ask me when I drive is “where do you park?” Simple. On the first day you park on campus, decide against paying for a garage or a metered space. Instead, find a parking spot near your class and face the wrath of the University of Louisville Parking Office. When you return to your car, you’ll find a yellow envelope on your windshield with a $15 ticket inside. Pay the ticket. It’s okay. You’ll more than make the money back if you hold onto the yellow envelope. The next time you park on campus, find a spot, it can be anywhere, and place the ticket on your windshield. The parking officers aren’t going to cite a car they believe that has already been ticketed. Thus, you have a $15 parking pass for any spot you can find on campus for the remainder of the year. To note, be sure the envelope doesn’t get wet and ruined, it will give away your ploy.
Campus life— Even though I didn’t live on campus, I was close enough to stop by if anything was going on. It was easy enough to stop by the Student Recreation Center, Student Activities Center or on campus events without changing my schedule too much. I never had to plan out stopping by campus because I was already close enough. So, if you stay near campus, a friend can hit you up and you can head to Belknap on the spur of the moment.
Papa John’s— The Papa John’s on Floyd Street is a luxury, and few students realize it until they leave U of L. Store nine runs like a manufacturing plant during war time. And no, don’t complain about delivery times, because every order should be carried out. The Floyd Street location can bust out a large two-topping pizza in 10 minutes, so if you’re close to campus, put the order in and head that way, because once you arrive it should be ready.
Student life- A good portion of U of L’s social student body lives near campus, so if you can stay around Belknap, there should always be a variety of social opportunities on the weekend. Yes, there will be parties, and there will be plenty, but there are also students socializing more casually. Whether the students are living on or off-campus, there are enjoyable social evenings available for people living near U of L.
Sports- Over my four years at U of L, nearly all of the athletic programs have been nationally-ranked, and living near campus allows for students to easily support these teams. Traffic can be horrible for football games at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, but for students near campus, it’s an easy walk. During the year, sports like baseball, softball, soccer, field hockey and lacrosse seem to always be playing at their on-campus fields, so it’s easy for students near Belknap to stop by and support your classmates.
Rest stop- Let’s say you decided to live near campus, but a few of your friends didn’t buy into the idea of living near U of L. This could become a problem for you when their class schedules don’t line up perfectly. Expect unannounced visits and friends inquiring about “staying at your place” during their four-hour break between classes. It might seem nice to have a daily social hour with a few friends at your place near campus, but sooner or later, you will start to feel more like an inn keeper than a friend. And if a carousel of people spinning into your place on a daily basis doesn’t sound bad, wait until your frequent guests don’t have enough time to eat on campus.
Social butterfly- Friends assume since you live near campus that you’re dialed-in on every social event going on around U of L. Though you may have a general understanding of what is happening on Friday and Saturday nights, you will start feeling like a weekend planner for any and everyone who knows you live near campus. You aren’t responsible for other people’s social lives, but if you live near campus, you’re friends are going to want to know everything they think you know about fun weekends at U of L.
Papa John’s- Stay away, seriously. You shouldn’t be eating pizza more than twice a month. It might be tempting because it’s close, but do your cholesterol a favor and order it occasionally.