Choosing a college or university to attend can be an exciting and overwhelming experience, especially if you are considering a strictly residential campus like Denison University. Even after you’ve done heavy soul searching, or consulted a Magic 8 Ball to choose your major course of study, there are other factors that you should keep in mind when visiting Denison as a Prospective Student. By checking out these five things on your visit, you can determine if Denison is the right campus environment for you.
1.) Finding First Year Friends
If you have been accepted to Denison University, you can attend a Prospective Student overnight tour in which you’ll be matched with a current student and have the opportunity to explore campus living. If you choose Denison but feel nervous about entering college as a first year or making new friends away from home, I strongly recommend the first-year orientation options that Denison offers before the start of the school year. I chose to attend the community service orientation and had a blast with my new classmates while doing community service projects in Washington, D.C. By the time the official first year orientation began on campus in September, I already had a group of friends from the trip. There are orientations for students of color, international students, and others.
2.) Shopping and Entertainment Options
Denison has tons of student organizations and events but there are some conveniences that can’t be found on campus or within Granville, Ohio. There are only a handful of restaurants in the tiny town below campus and they all have limited hours of operation, so you’ll need to either cook, rely on your campus meal plan, or travel to a neighboring city, such as Newark or Columbus, to dine out after hours. You’ll also have to travel for shopping, beauty services, entertainment, and exposure to people who aren’t connected to campus. If you don’t have transportation, check out the shuttle buses that Denison offers frequently for shopping excursions and supplies runs. Have fun and get some errands done in a free, easy and environmentally friendly way.
3.) Res Life Rules! And Restrictions
Most students on campus are new adults, between the ages of 18-23, who are living on their own for the first time and haven’t lived with non-relatives before, so there are some basic rules in the Student Handbook meant to make living conditions comfortable and accommodating for Denison’s two thousand residents. These rules include quiet hours, pet restrictions, overnight guest limitations and some etiquette rules for common areas. If you plan to have some late nights playing music and “studying” with friends, or if you require uninterrupted beauty sleep, you’ll want to know the housing rules and how they might affect you on a day-to-day basis.
4.) Home Away From Home
Residential Life enforces set rules for living on campus, but every student has his or her own living standards to consider, too. For example, if you have an extensive shoe collection or need space for your gaming console, visit or ask about the size of dorm rooms for first years. The same goes for bathroom stall sizes and cleanliness. If you have dietary needs or a knack for the culinary arts, check out the shared kitchens that are located in every residential building to see what appliances are available. Be sure to ask about restrictions if you plan to bring along any cooking appliances, large furniture or pets (including your pet fish Nemo).
5.) Let’s Get Physical
Whether you plan to show your Big Red pride as an athlete or you have a fitness routine to maintain, you should check out the Mitchell Recreation and Athletics Center. There is a plethora of sports to participate in and gorgeous facilities for training and fitness. If you’re looking for the gym experience for non-competitive exercise, you can take recreational classes such as Yoga, Pilates and Zumba. There’s something for everyone at Mitchell Center, but be sure to check out class schedules and center hours of operation to ensure that your fitness needs and ambitions are met.
Aside from Denison’s outstanding academics, these five elements can give you a clearer picture of campus life and allow you to decide if you can thrive in this community for four years. Even if you don’t chose to attend Denison, these areas can help you evaluate any residential campus and figure out what suits you best. Best of luck in your journey and GO BIG RED!
Ashley Briggs earned her Bachelor’s Degree at Denison University with a Major in Cinema and currently lives in San Diego, California. By day, she works at an adolescent treatment facility and by night, she is a freelance writer and completing her first novel.