#TBT: Caught the Desire to Live Off-Campus

Author: Emma Koster


The lure of freedom and independence has pulled at college students for decades. College itself is a time defined by independence and a sense of personal liberation. Perhaps that is one of the many reasons why tension exists between on-and off-campus living.

As the COVID-19 policies of allowing sophomores and juniors to move off-campus have been reversed for the upcoming 2021-2022 academic  year, the many students who chose to find homes outside the dorm system will be pulled back in. An article from the April 1991 issue of Scholastic shows that the students of today’s Notre Dame are not the first to look to expand their horizons outside the boundaries of campus.

The class of 2022 was the first to be indoctrinated to a six semester on-campus living requirement. Campus life and community is one of the main pillars of the Notre Dame experience, and still many students can’t help but be lured by the siren song of Irish Crossing, Campus View or houses of East Washington Street. After the recent announcement that the university would no longer be pursuing its differentiation policy, off-campus students will now be able to remain a part of their dorm community from afar.

In an article titled “Moving Out” in the April 1991 issue of Scholastic, Laura Matthias writes, “one day we will leave this self-contained microcosm and will need to assimilate into the adult world – with no maids or sheet exchange.” Matthias notes the importance of learning to figure things out for yourself, things like shopping, cooking and cleaning. For many, off-campus living can help to cultivate a maturity and understanding of the real world that is vital for post-graduation. One might even venture to say, the Domers of the ‘90s weren’t the only ones to think living off-campus is phat.