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With my one-bedroom apartment now hosting three people, it’s hard to imagine having anything smaller or bigger at this point in my life. Even with my one bedroom I have freedom to get away from the others in my home. I have freedom to shower in a closed room with no one else in a stall next to me. I have a fridge, a patio, washer and dryer and a kitchen inside the apartment. There’s no need to pay for clean laundry by the load. And my favorite feature is that there’s a space for me to be alone when I want to be. This is something I didn’t have when I lived on campus.

I vividly remember during my freshman year at NAU when my younger sister, who was a sophomore in high school, stayed with me over her spring break in my dorm room. It was rough. When I lived at home, we spent a lot of time arguing and bickering as sisters do, but putting us both in a dorm room with one other person for a week was pure insanity for all those involved. That week my sister shared my shower caddy, slept on a bed of blankets beside my desk and shared my 14 meals for the week.

I think our favorite parts of the week were when we weren’t in the dorm. We enjoyed our time going to my classes, walking around campus and sitting in a study room located within my building.

I reflect now, as a senior, and am so very thankful that my time in a dorm room only lasted a year. Gone are the days when getting any sort of meal was roughly a 10-minute walk away accompanied by an average of another 10-minute wait. Gone are the days of communal bathrooms, limited meals, screaming neighbors and 3 a.m. wakeup calls from a roommate.

Although I don’t regret living on campus for a year, I don’t think I would do it again. The restrictions and the space are not sufficient for long-term living, in my opinion.

We’re a little over a month away from the start of a new semester and a week when Target is absolutely impossible to navigate. That’s right, in case you have forgotten, get all your Target needs satisfied before parents and students take over. But in all seriousness, we are roughly a month away from the town almost doubling itself in population. Soon there will be students putting in job applications to every place in walking distance from campus as well as putting in housing requests at the last minute.

Last year the big build for student housing was The Hub Flagstaff. This year it’s The Standard.

The Standard has the potential to be the most luxurious student apartment complex in Flagstaff. It has floor plans ranging from studios to five-bedroom homes. Its amenities include a club room, a golf simulator, a computer lounge, study rooms, garage parking, lower level retail, private courtyards with spas and a fitness center. Its location on West Route 66 is an added bonus, as it’s just a quick walk away from campus. My number one question is, why the heck do college students need a golf simulator?  

As I read that list back to myself, I find it interesting how much the term “college student living” has evolved. Just five years ago people would say, “Let me take you out to a meal. You’re a starving college student.” But now student apartments are nicer than those that are for non-students. What do you think student life will be like another five years from now? Will we even recognize it?

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Bailey Helton is the editor-in-chief at The Lumberjack, Northern Arizona University's student newspaper. College Chronicles aims to connect Flag Live! readers to various aspects of campus life.

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