The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

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Bucknell seniors embrace living downtown

Juliana+Rodrigues%2C+Special+Features+Editor+%2F+The+Bucknellian
Juliana Rodrigues, Special Features Editor / The Bucknellian

Living downtown senior year is a highly anticipated privilege that many Bucknell students look forward to from their first year. The chance to live downtown is a unique experience from the preceding three years of required on-campus housing that for many has become a cherished and integral part of Bucknell’s culture. Within a class of over 900 students, close to 350 take part in off-campus housing. Seniors living off campus this year share their perspectives on the independence and sense of community created by living downtown and reflect on the new opportunities and challenges that come with this change.

For many seniors, one of the advantages of downtown housing is the close-knit community that is fostered. Rozie Gagliano ’24 shares, “Living downtown has been one of my favorite memories at Bucknell so far! Getting the opportunity to live with all my best friends has been so enjoyable and it makes it even more fun being so close to everyone in our grade.”

An aspect of off-campus living at Bucknell that is not always found at other universities is the close proximity to other students.  

Katie Kulesh ’24 reflects on the similarities between dorm living and downtown housing, saying, “I have loved having a home downtown that I share with all of my best friends, however living in a dorm surrounded by people not in your direct friend group is so special and I am lucky I experienced it for three years. Bucknell has an open-door policy that makes dorm life so crucial to the culture at this school, and that I have found has stayed consistent throughout this year living downtown.”

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The transition from dorm living to off-campus housing does come with a change in the social dynamic, however many seniors seem to feel that the desire to act as a cohesive community is not lost in this transition.  

Maggie Burns ’24 echoes this view of the benefits of still being able to live among other Bucknell students off-campus. She says, “I love being within a five minute walk of all my friends at Bucknell,” Burns said. “We are constantly doing movie nights, Taco Tuesdays and enjoying each other’s company everyday. It has given me the independence and room to explore my personal goals, meet new people and make new memories.”  

“No matter what time of day I’m walking home, I always am greeted by familiar faces and I am so fortunate to be surrounded by such a fun community of other seniors who are equally excited to be neighbors and experience a new type of independence,” noted Natalie Sreckovic ’24. “Living downtown has definitely become a part of my Bucknell experience that I will look back on!”

An aspect of living off campus that several seniors have noticed is the independence they have gained this year, as well as the increased responsibilities they have taken on.

Oliver Krohn ’24 highlights the transformation from the structure of dorm life to the inherently less-structured downtown housing life. He reflects, “Living downtown is definitely a change of pace from on-campus living because there is no school employed cleaner of any shared or common areas. My roommates and I have done a great job keeping our house clean and I’ve loved living downtown so far.”  

Also reflecting on this, Cynthia DeMarinis ’24 shares, “After experiencing the lifestyle on campus, I have now had the opportunity to live in a house through which my roommates and I have experienced how with more independence comes more responsibility.”

In addition to new responsibilities, many seniors have shared that their new independence has allowed them to grow personally and academically. Seniors Henry Selvala ’24 and Paris Abbott ’24 reflect the benefits they have experienced living downtown.  

“I feel like being surrounded by other students, specifically my best friends, who value school and strive to do well academically, mentally and physically has pushed me to be a better version of myself,” Abbott says. “Studying and schoolwork is something I’ve always been used to doing alone, but having company while doing these tasks has made them a bit more enjoyable and a whole lot more bearable.”  

Some students have found that living off campus has allowed them to prioritize and utilize their time on campus more effectively. Selvala observes, “Living off campus has allowed me to focus more on academics by being able to separate my living arrangements and academics on campus. I feel like there is a better distinction now.” 

A common theme across the seniors’ reflections is that living downtown has helped them create a beneficial routine. Sreckovic states, “Even though we’re off campus, I have found that living downtown has helped me get into a routine that keeps me out of the house doing work and activities during the day and excited to come home to my best friends after a long day of classes.” 

Aside from the benefits seniors have observed as a result of living downtown, the situation does, of course, pose some obstacles as well. Elliot Teal ’24 discusses the practical challenges faced by students living off campus.  

He points out, “As a senior living downtown, sometimes it can be challenging getting to class, especially in bad weather, because there are limited student parking spots. As it gets colder, even more people will want to drive to campus, and nobody wants a ticket.”  

Additionally, the process to secure a house for senior year is very selective and difficult to navigate. Phoebe Macleod ’24 reflects on her process with her roommates, stating, “We went right to the Coldwell office when we heard there were people lining up. My roommates and I took two hour shifts through the night and into the morning. We also had people hold our place in line since we had to leave for practice. We then had to go right back after practice and give them our deposit.”  

Especially with a frequently changing structure and process, securing a house downtown can be very confusing and competitive for students. Aside from the few obstacles that students have faced in the endeavor of moving off campus for senior year, it seems that participating seniors feel that those inconveniences are a small price to pay for the overall experience.

For many members of the senior class, their last year at Bucknell is marked by the unique experience of living downtown.  This shift presents opportunities for increased independence, a stronger sense of community and room for individual growth. Upon reflection on several of the seniors’ perspectives on off-campus living, it is clear that these students are grateful for the years they spent living on campus, as those three years build the foundation for a tight-knit community and prepare students for bigger responsibilities and adjustments. Living off campus senior year is a cherished and unforgettable chapter of many students’ Bucknell experience.

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