Coed dorms are a tradition of American college life. This is probably due to the fact that the advantages of living in a coed dorm are out of this world. In actuality, the coed dorm is a world all its own.
Among the advantages are, of course, the most obvious: freedom and independence, socialization, and access to the opposite sex. These three, at least, are more than enough to entice the recent high school graduate to enroll in college. This is because said college, or more specifically coed dorms, is the place where students get the first taste of adulthood.
Freedom and independence is intoxicating! One can have one’s own personal space, make one’s own decisions and come and go as one pleases. Yet the new-found responsibility for these students can be quite overwhelming, especially for those who don’t know of the real world, which, to be blunt, is a heartless dog-eat-dog arena where all players must keep their eyes open and their wits about them at all times. Thinking that one knows everything will get one killed or ruin one’s life. This is hard to do for new high school graduates who don’t have a clue about real life, which consists of bills, discipline, taking care of one’s personal day-to-day essentials (food, hygiene and living supplies), and working to make a living, to say the very least. Except for the first and the last one (for many, mom and dad are footing the bill, or financial aid relieves the burden), the college students are left to conduct their own affairs. This can be scary when maturity and life experience are lacking, since most decisions require both. Still, this very condition is the challenge, because students are forced to act responsibly. Most students both fear that and crave that. This is the best way to transition into the adult world.
Socialization is important for every field. One must know how to interact effectively with others, otherwise one will get crushed. Social development prepares the students for post-college years, when they actually go out to get a job and live on their own. In a different light, many young people love to socialize more than anything else, so they look forward to it. Meeting people from other places and other cultures can be both intimidating and exciting, but even the teenager knows that it is always a learning experience.
Ah, the opposite sex! This is probably the greatest incentive to living in a coed dorm. This is the first time when youngsters live with members of the opposite sex who aren’t related to them. It is new, it is awkward, and it is sexually stimulating. This is no doubt why sex among college freshmen and sophomores is, as always, in a very high percentage. Talk about eating the forbidden fruit!
Interacting with the opposite sex, too, prepares young college students for future romantic relationships and even marriage because, in coed dorms, residents have no choice but to interact with one another on a day-to-day basis. This teaches young students how to communicate in the intimate setting, that which relates to the home setting, familial, and even romantic relationships. Friendships are forged. Sometimes future spouses are introduced to one another. This is a situation in which males and females can get used to how the “other half” lives.
And then there’s dating . . .
I know this serves as a general overview, but I wonder if there are other advantages to coed living, hmmm.
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