The Mid-Campus Residence Hall is Central Connecticut State University’s newest and most expensive dorm yet. The eight-floor red brick building is home to 600 of Central’s students. Inside the double security doors, residents are greeted by an assortment of flyers for student clubs and community engagement events. Built in 2015, the dorm–affectionately known as Mid– is located close to the Student Center as well as Burritt Library. On the very first floor, students have access to a game room, a fitness center and a full kitchen for students to use at their leisure. Living arrangements are mostly suite style with two residents to a room.
As of 2019 there are nine residence halls on the New Britain campus. Over 2,000 students chose to live in campus dorms in 2019, only 20 percent of Central’s total enrollment. Campus life is steadily offering students more opportunities to socialize and network. Blue Muse staff set out to interview students living in the dorms to hear more about what it’s really like to live at CCSU. After speaking with several students, they offered opinions ranging from their favorite activities on campus to how good the food is.
As told to Giomar Emmanuelli
Hometown: East Windsor, CT
Plans for after college: Becoming a nurse
I chose Central because it was close and within driving distance. We have a great nursing program that they just recently renovated and the school was within a budget that I thought was appropriate for my family and me. All around I felt like I belonged here, and I loved the dorm.
My living space is my favorite aspect of the school. It’s one of the biggest reasons I came here. It’s almost like an apartment. I feel comfortable and don’t feel like I’m stuck in a dorm, and I have my own bathroom. I really enjoyed orientation and my first few days of college. Of course, it got harder as classes started, since they were at weird times. School wasn’t from eight to three anymore and I had to make sure I went to class, but having friends that were going through the same thing made it easier.
I hate the weekends during the day because there is not a ton of campus life around. The parking situation is a hassle too. Honestly, it’s going to be a pain in the butt–when it starts snowing–to walk all the way across campus to get to my car. The campus community is definitely getting better though. The first football game day was a lot different than last year. The little things make a difference, like people holding the door open or people not just being in it for themselves. Everybody smiles and is friendly.
Besides going to class, I am President of E-board for Hall Council. Hall Council is basically a once a week meeting where we tell students what is going on around campus. It’s a great way to get involved on campus. Last year I was the treasurer. It’s pretty cool. We always have free food at our meetings so that is great. The regular food gets very repetitive, kind of the same thing over and over again. Sometimes it just does not taste good. You find out what you like and don’t like. For example, I hate the pizza.
For any incoming freshman I’d say make sure you feel comfortable with the college you choose. If you have issues or problems, change them, because you’re going to be unhappy and you don’t want to be unhappy. This is supposed to be the best time of your life. In general, college has taught me independence from my family but also making sure I go to class and get my work done. Also, time management is a big one. Like knowing when to eat, when to work out, if I want to take a nap and fitting everything I need to get done into my day and not stressing out too much.
As told to Anthony Gramuglia
Hometown: Norwalk, CT
Plans for after college: I plan on doing reality shows like Big Brother or The Amazing Race.
First of all, I was going to go to Iona but at the same time it was $48k a year, so I decided Central would be a better choice for me financially, and I was a journalism student at that point and we have a great journalism program. The transition to college was pretty easy. They do that through orientation and when you’re a senior in high school, you can join the Facebook groups to find friends. I remember when I was a senior in high school we created mad group chats and that’s how I got to know a lot of people now. We became friends online first, so social media was a big help in helping me find friends.
My favorite thing about campus is the activities. I got involved with a lot of on-campus activities this semester such as E-board for Hall Council, the theater club, improv theater, and the fashion design club. Although, I don’t really like the way things get around because I feel as if people don’t pay attention to things like posters. Everything is all social media so if they were to promote events more, there would be more hype activities. I like the atmosphere overall.
My advice for any newcomers is BE YOURSELF. People like when you are yourself, they don’t like when you’re fake; they love authenticity. Also, do things at your own pace. I think people get discouraged when their teacher wants them to do something really quickly. Just relax and it will come to you. I learned to do things on my own time and not stress myself out. I feel like if you take a step back you’ll be calm and content, you won’t freak out and be stressed and nervous which is just going to make you tired and you won’t get anything done. Finally, you get sick of the food. Being here for three years it’s like, come on, change the food already. When you’re excited for chicken nuggets that’s how you know you’ve got to change it up.
As told to Anthony Gramuglia
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: New Britain, CT
Plans for after college: I started an internship in engineering and after I finish college I will follow up with that. Maybe I’ll go to Spain, that’s what my dad wants.
Since I lived in New Britain and it was kind of close to my house it was perfect. Also, I got a scholarship to play soccer and I didn’t have to pay much so I thought it was a no-brainer to be here. I love the classes. The first few days I didn’t really like my schedule, but they gave me the option to re-build my schedule. I haven’t really found anything that I dislike so far. I found the transition from high school easier than I thought. When I was still in high school, people would say “college is hard,” but when I came here I realized it’s basically the same thing, but you have to be more responsible about yourself. You need to learn how to manage your own time and if you can do that you’ll be fine.
If I just stayed at home, I wouldn’t have had that chance to grow. When you’re on campus you have to talk to people like your RAs, so it’s good for me to be here. Already in my first couple of weeks here I’ve learned a lot about communicating with people. I was more shy last year; I came here and I opened up to people. But you’ve got to know the people who you actually hang out with. My first few days, I hung out with some people who would go out and party all the time, and even in the first week, I saw my grades go down. So I knew I had to start being more conscious of my time. Also, hanging out with people who encourage you to do your work. There are some people who really don’t care about class and just want to have fun and leave their parents. You don’t want to go down that road. Even the food is better than high school. It’s actually really good. Since I play soccer I need to watch my diet, so I don’t eat everything but what I have I like. There are lots of options, it’s not like I’m forced to eat something like in high school.
The community is really positive. People are really friendly and it’s pretty easy to talk to people. I remember in high school people kept more to themselves but over here it’s actually very easy to make friends. The soccer team has practice two hours a day Monday through Friday, and as an athlete they require you to have at least eight hours of study hall a week. That’s a lot of time, so you gotta manage your time and if you don’t, you’re in big trouble.
As told to Kyle Waurishuk
Major: Exercise Science
Hometown: South Windsor, CT
Plans after college: Professional soccer and eventually a college coach
I was recruited to play soccer here and it was a good distance from home. My favorite thing is the fact that there are a lot of different options to eat and at any time of the day. My least favorite would be that I wish there was more to do on campus, and the terrible parking. Some campus events are worth attending. If there’s one that seems interesting, it’s worth giving it a try. I don’t know if I have a preference yet because there haven’t been that many, but any event with free food and/or free apparel is a good event.
I don’t sense much in terms of a feeling of community on campus; people normally seem like they are here just to go to class and not talk to anyone or care what else is going on. Many alumni that I have talked to describe their sense of community that they still feel towards Central, so maybe that is something that comes later. I would probably just want to have more school spirit at sports games, events, and just life in general. Overall it seems like a pretty positive social environment even though there isn’t a whole lot going on.
In terms of tips for students, do really well when you start off the semester. Don’t stress about all the work because there is definitely time to do it. Also, don’t worry about fitting in, it comes pretty easy. After the first day or so of moving in, I didn’t notice much else in terms of supporting the transition. I don’t really know if anything else is even needed. That’s another thing I see people stress about. The food is pretty decent. It’s better than I expected, Devil’s Den is great, I just wish the type of food was changed. I’m glad I’m here because I’ve been given the opportunity to learn that people have extremely different lifestyles and come from all sorts of backgrounds, which I learned by talking to people on campus.
As told to Kyle Waurishuk
Hometown: Leominster, MA
Plans for after college: Something with advertising but not certain of future plans
One of the main reasons I came to Central was because I got a good scholarship. That was pretty much all I was looking for. My favorite thing is probably the city. I really like New Britain, lots of things to do. Least favorite has got to be parking. Anytime friends want to visit or if I need a ride, it’s always the biggest hassle. And construction, they’re always building something around here. If everything was done, I’d definitely enjoy my time more on campus. It’s loud and clustered. Parking just slows the whole campus down, and I don’t even commute.
For freshman my biggest advice is go to class. Quickest way to fail, by far. You wouldn’t be spending all this money if you were trying to fail, so go to class. The food is bearable, but I definitely prefer eating off campus. I really only eat here when I have to. Another one is going to the sports games. They’re definitely worth attending. The campus community is pretty cool. Everyone’s very friendly. The social aspect of campus is positive. I’m on the soccer team here so I have a lot of fun. I think the social stuff leans in favor of athletes. I should go to more stuff though. They always have those flyers and stuff up for meetings and events and some of them seem fun but I’m busy a lot of the time. I enjoy my very little free time too much to join any clubs or anything. Maybe next semester.
In terms of safety it seems like I can’t go more than fifty feet without seeing a camera or a cop car. Whether or not they actually work, I don’t know. But I haven’t been mugged or harassed so I’d say they’re working so far. My buddy’s got an apartment off campus that I’ve been crashing at. It’s a lot of fun. It’s just more convenient. It’s closer to my classes and there’s no RAs. Also, there’s some things about living on campus that aren’t great. Like just last week there was a fire alarm at 4am. Nobody wants that. So being off campus is better sometimes.
Anthony Gramuglia, Giomar Emmanuelli and Kyle Waurishuk are staff writers for Blue Muse Magazine.
Photo Credit for Header Image: CCSU Residence Life