Corey A. Thomas
South Orange, NJ. – Being a student athlete can be stressful.
“Sometimes I don’t like playing division I soccer,” Sarah Fiorino, Seton Hall soccer defender, said. “I love soccer, but sometimes during the fall it’s harder for me to get my work done and just relax.”
Along with the responsibility of attending classes and studying, student athletes tack on the pressures of performing at a high level in their respective sports.
In November of 2013 the University of Richmond’s athletic department notified student athletes that they no longer have the option of living off-campus. At Seton Hall such restrictions are non-existent and housing decisions are left up to coaches and players.
“For me, being able to live off-campus is more freeing,” junior Fiorino said. “It’s less stressful being able to get all my work done, study, practice, and go to class on campus. Then I can escape for a while and go back to my house.”
Fiorino recently moved from living in Xavier Hall to a house on Wilden Place. She is accustomed to living in a small community as she hails from Glen Rock, NJ, home of almost 12,000 citizens.
“That’s the thing I liked more about Seton Hall than schools like Rutgers, which have a huge campus,” She said. “But at the same Seton Hall can be too small that’s kind of why I moved off campus.”
Smaller universities like Seton Hall can have limited resources compared bigger state schools like Rutgers.
“I love Seton Hall but sometimes it can get really boring especially when you live on campus without a car.” Fiorino said. “I love that fact that now I have my own room and now I have my car with me and I can do whatever I want.”
Not all student athletes feel the same about residence life at Seton Hall. Each person has their own preference. For some, living on campus takes away some of the hassles being an independent young adult.
“It’s more convenient for me because I am the type of person who naps between classes,” Isabell Klingert said. “I can use my time more effectively on-campus than off-campus.”
The senior tennis player transferred from Gonzaga University to Seton Hall two years ago. She’s a long way from her home in Oberbalbach, Germany. Klingert chose Seton Hall because of the better time zone and it being closer to home. Compared to Seton Hall, with New York City so close, Klingert felt as if Gonzaga was in the middle of nowhere.
“I feel like living on-campus here is the best way to fit in the community and feel at home,” Klingert said. “Being a student-athlete you’re not as involved with the community as you want to be, so I think it’s important to live on-campus so that you can be more involved with the community.”
Klingert is the type of person that likes to make the most out of the things she has and doesn’t dwell much on the things she can’t control.
Team practices and rigorous training are the foundations of success for athletes. Klingert uses Seton Hall’s athletic facilities and resources to stay in prime shape.
“I love the fact that the athletic center is so close, and getting to practice isn’t a hassle,” She said. “I can get to where I need to within five minutes, if I lived off-campus I know that it would be more difficult to get to practice and workout.”
A problem that can occur for student athletes if prioritizing classes over their respective sport. A sport like basketball is more time consuming than a sport like cross country. How a student athletes properly manages their classes, study sessions, and team schedule is crucial to having a satisfying living experience.
“Seton Hall was one of the few schools that would let me do swimming all four years with nursing which was a big influence,” senior swimmer Katie Adams said. “The coaches are great with scheduling practices around our clinicals.”
Adams appreciates the conveniences of living on-campus from her first two years at Seton Hall. Nonetheless she still enjoys the freedoms and responsibilities of being on her own outside the campus.
“I have to plan my whole day the night before,” Adams said. “The fact that I have to pack my food every night before for early morning practices is a nice routine schedule. I like that keeps me on task with everything.”
Ultimately it all comes down preference. People have different tastes and opinions.
David Cha is a senior golfer at Seton Hall who has been a Pirate all four years. He experienced college both on and off-campus and doesn’t regret the decision to move off-campus.
“I would say try living off-campus for a year and if you don’t like it then you can always come back,” Cha said. “I still think it’s a good experience to be independent and it’s good experience for after college.”