Living in the townhouses is a fun and helpful transition from dorm living to real life, said a townhouse resident.
Tess Yake, a senior nursing major, transferred to Cedarville her sophomore year. After living in Johnson Hall the first year, Yake and her roommate decided to try applying to live in a townhouse.
Each of the 16 units houses six students, and applicants are encouraged to have the full group of six to apply.
Yake and her roommate created an ad on Classifieds at the end of her sophomore year, which helped them find four additional students to room with.This year, Yake and her roommate are living in the same townhouse as last year, this time with two former housemates and two new ones.
Yake said she does not miss anything about living in a dorm and much prefers the townhouse. Instead of just a dorm room and bathroom, she now has a living room, kitchen and laundry room as well.
“I think (living in a townhouse) is awesome,” she said. “I think one of my favorite parts is the kitchen. We don’t have to have meal plans, so we can cook our own meals and be responsible for grocery shopping. We have a really big living room and cable’s included in our board. So that’s really nice. It comes with the furniture, which I love, and we don’t have curfew, which I love.”
Living in a townhouse allows students to be and feel more independent, she said. Yake said the responsibilities and privileges make her feel more grown up.
“I think it’s a little bit different than living in a dorm,” she said. “I feel more independent and a little bit treated more like an adult because I’m responsible for groceries and things like that, which I like.”
Many of the decisions she makes are similar to those made by students living off-campus, she said, but without the stress of utility bills and landlords.
She believes this will help students make the move from a college student to ‘real-life’ adult.
“I think it’s the perfect transition from dorm life into the real world because we don’t have to worry about paying our utilities,” Yake said. “If we were off-campus that would be something you’d really have to worry about. We don’t have to worry about getting Wi-Fi, we don’t have to worry about getting cable or getting utilities because that’s all paid for in our price, but we’re still having that independence. Being able to go grocery shopping and those sorts of things.”
Unlike students living in dorms, townhouse residents do not have a curfew. Yake said this privilege contributes to the feeling of independence, but also serves a more practical purpose.
“Both me and my roommate work a lot and we work second shift and sometimes even night shift,” she said, referring to her job at a Columbus hospital. “So the whole dealing with RAs and curfew was just something extra to worry about. Not having a curfew is helpful in dealing with work schedules and things.”
If townhouse residents need, or want, to stay on campus during breaks, they are able to remain in their residences without having to pay additional fees, Yake said.
Townhouse residents are not required to have a meal plan, which balances the higher room and board costs, she said, and also frees students to take care of their own eating needs. Grocery shopping, cooking and inviting friends over for dinner are all positive aspects of living in a townhouse, she said.
In addition to mealtime freedoms, students are allowed to have guests of both genders over until 1 a.m. This privilege is nice for get-togethers, Yake said, especially since townhouse residents do not have brother/sister units.
“With all the space we have, we have a lot of people over a lot to hang out, so I guess that kind of has replaced the organized bro/sis thing,” she said. “And being able to have a living room instead of meeting in a dormitory, where it’s like, ‘do you wanna hang out in my dorm,’ but there’s really not room to do much. So it’s a lot cooler with that space to hang out and maybe cook.”
Despite the lack of designated bro/sis groups, students in the townhouses have their own community.
“Pretty much every time I walk out, there’s people from either side walking over, hanging out and going over to each other’s place,” Yake said. “There’s times when I’m like, ‘Hey, we need a couple eggs, let’s just go knock on our neighbor’s door and see if they have eggs.’ It’s been really cool. I definitely feel, especially with two (townhouse buildings), there’s a lot of community.”
Becky Stowers, dean of women at Cedarville, said the university plans to encourage this sense of community for the students.
“I think we’re going to try to do some kind of activities to create that sense of community,” she said. “That sense of ‘We live in the townhouses and this is unique to us.’”
Yake said these activities would be fun and a great way to build community, something she and her housemates have considered doing before.
“We’ve always thought about trying to get different townhouses together to have dinner together and stuff like that,” she said. “So that’d be really cool.”
Overall, Yake said she is happy with her experience living in the townhouses and recommends it, especially to students considering off-campus housing.
“I think that right now, as a student, it would be a lot less stressful to still be close enough to walk to your classes, to not have to worry about all those extra appliance bills and utility bills,” she said, “and to have some of that community and not be separated from everything, but still be able to be a little bit more independent.”
Emily Finlay is a senior journalism major and campus news editor for Cedars. She loves writing, reading, making obscure references in normal conversation and every type of geekery.