A Q&A WITH SURIYA
Recent graduate and former Honors Hall RA
The Honors Residential Learning Community is an on-campus living option available to all first year students who have been accepted into the Honors Program. The main community is located in the newly-built Honors Residence Hall within CSU’s Academic Village. There’s also a second community located in Edwards Hall.
Just steps away from the Rec Center, Moby Arena, and the Rams Horn Dining Hall, the Honors Residence Hall mixes work and play — Honors courses are offered within the building itself.
We sat down with recent graduate and former Honors Hall Resident Assistant (RA) Suriya to learn what life is like in this unique living community.
What are the benefits of living in the Honors community?
You’re part of a community that already has something in common. Generally, people in Honors care a lot about their academics and it can be really nice to have people who are in similar classes or sections as you, and that have similar standards. It can be really helpful when you’re trying to get your homework done or studying for exams.
It’s also one of the newer buildings on campus and it’s nice to have your own bathroom in your room for sure. Location is also a great benefit of the Honors Hall – the dining hall is right outside and it’s only a 5 or 10 minute walk to campus. You also have the Rec Center and IM (Intramural) fields right outside.
What’s a big myth of Honors housing?
People think that it’s just going to be studying all the time — students will just be in their rooms and won’t have any kind of fun. This is definitely not true — it’s actually one of the more vibrant communities on campus. Many people with really different interests come together, and although they do come together primarily for an academic reason, they have a lot of fun. Whether they’re talking in the hallways or watching TV together, it’s pretty close-knit.
How easy or difficult is it to make friends?
Given the fact that you do have commonalities, you can establish a good status quo from the beginning of the semester.
You do have a bathroom in your room so there is that opportunity to stay in the room more often, but we have an open door policy so people tend to leave their doors open and can hang out and study together. There’s also a lot of community areas.
What are the pros and cons of living in Honors?
It’s a really amazing area to live in. There are a lot of diverse interests and many students in the Honors community are involved in leadership as well so a lot of student initiatives happen. There is also high involvement in the campus community and this feeds into the activities we do here. It’s generally just a really fun atmosphere for people.
You can also find a good balance here. If you have an exam, you can study and shut yourself out a little bit, but if you want to socialize you have the ability to because it’s built for that.
Lastly, the location is hard to beat – it’s really centralized.
It’s easy for Honors to become like a bubble. This can be true for every Residence Hall, but for the Honors Hall in particular, sometimes you have classes in the building too and because the dining hall is so close it’s easy to feel like you don’t have to step outside of it. What I recommend for students is that they venture outside a little bit and make friends outside of the Honors community. There’s a diversity of perspectives in people on campus that is just as valuable for them to connect with.
It is also more expensive to live here and that’s a real consideration – some people who are in the Honors Program choose not to [live here] because it is more pricey. We do have a smaller Honors community in Edwards Hall that is a more cost-effective option.
Advice to someone on the fence?
Try to figure out what you want of your live-on experience – especially your first year – and prioritize. If you’re looking for a community that’s a little more academically focused or a community that you have something immediately in common with others to start out with, it’s can be really valuable to live in Honors.
If you’re looking at prices or you are hoping to get another perspective and feel like you can get that experience in another Residence Hall or Living Community, then that’s something to look at.
I valued my time living here and being an RA and believe it’s a very formative experience for a lot of people. I see the types of friendships made and they last throughout your college career. These are people that you could be living with in the future and be friends with the rest of your life – and that’s a very powerful feeling.