Understanding the transition to campus life

Takunda Makunde
There are notable differences between campus life and life back home. These two appear to be two separate worlds.

A number of students contend that campus life differs from the way they live back home with their families because it affords them the freedom they do not enjoy when they are at home with their families.

Freedom is a major consideration for most students. They agree that campus life affords them the freedom to make their own choices, which freedom they point out, they do not enjoy at home. On campus, students have all the freedom to make their own choices without intervention from parents.

This means they have the freedom to decide what to wear, what time to go out with friends and what time to come back and to go to bed. This new-found experience in the majority of cases, appears thrilling to most of the students because it is different from what they experience at home.

Students believe their freedom is restricted when they are home because parents monitor their activities and they are expected to operate under a curfew of some sort and are therefore expected to be back home at specified times, if they go out with friends.


Parents on the other hand argue and believe that they are sincere and justified in their actions because these measures are meant solely to protect their children from negative social impacts, such as drug abuse and other destructive effects on youths.

While parents are justified in taking these measures, children seem to believe this is a curtailment on their freedom and the right to make choices on how to run their lives.

Campus life also allows students — most of them for the first time — to practise dating without restrictions, something they point out is ever present at home and makes it difficult to establish dating relationships.

The campus environment is more favourable because students can choose where and when to meet up without parental restrictions. They also argue that they are able to interact with their partners on a daily basis and even plan activities for the whole semester.

The absence of chores around the house also makes campus life more favourable to most students. One can argue that there is less free time at home as there is always something that needs attending to.

Campus life instils a sense of independence in many students. They become directly responsible for their decisions. As young adults, they become accountable for their actions and the attendant consequences.

Campus life, it is argued, grooms students into young men and women.

One of the major effects of campus life on students is behavioural change. This is observed at the end of semesters when students return home.

This behavioural change emanates from the fact that change is inevitable.

Change can be negative or positive. It is however, the negative changes that parents discover most, leading, in cases to the conclusion that campus life is destructive.


There are, however, positive traits that are instilled in university students as a result of being exposed to campus life.

Among these are transformation from being introverts to outspoken individuals. This can be the result of conquering one’s fears because of exposure to campus life.

This does not mean that life at home no longer has influence over the student’s behaviour.

Continued interaction and being emotionally connected with parents, siblings, relatives and friends continue to help shape an individual and the individual’s personality.