Skip to main content

University Honors Program

Living on a First-Year Honors Floor

By Katherine Hoener

There is no doubt that graduating high school marks the end of an era. Thus, going to college regardless of where or how far, is ultimately embarking upon a new journey, which can be both intimidating and exciting. 

First-year students face a variety of challenges, ranging from managing college courses to forming friendships. While this is a universal experience, entering college in the Honors Program adds another level of uncertainty. Therefore, the University of Dayton offers designated Honors floors within first-year dorms. 

Honors housing may have different meanings depending on the student. However, despite differences in gender and dorm buildings, there are major similarities between first-year students’ experiences. For instance, Tara McLoughlin, who lives on the fifth floor of Marycrest, described the energy of a first-year Honors floor as energetic and chaotic but intertwined with a level of focus. She specifically notes that the floor can relate and rely on one another due to the courses they take, while also being able to have fun together. 

In contrast, Andrew Kuntzman, who lives on the third floor of Founders, claims the energy of his floor fluctuates between high and low. This is shown through the idea that everyone is always doing something together or studying in their perspective rooms. In addition to this, both students have noted their floormates being in the same courses as them as one of the best parts of living on an Honors floor. This creates another resource for first-years during this challenging time, as everyone is more than willing to help one another out. Furthermore, McLoughlin believes that the idea of being surrounded by peers who prioritize school is beneficial in staying motivated throughout the year. Ultimately, an Honors floor provides a setting that allows students to focus on academics, all the while making fun memories with their peers.

However, these students had differing opinions regarding whether there should be changes of the first-year Honors floor setting. Kuntzman believes that everything operates in an effective manner, thus no changes need to be made. While McLoughlin supports the way Honors housing currently works, she offered suggestions on how it can be improved. For example, there have been moments where she has wished her resident advisor was also a member of the Honors Program. In setting that standard, these advisors would have a deeper understanding of the rules necessary for students to be successful. This would reflect by setting stricter expectations of quiet time or designated study hours throughout the week. Nonetheless, the experiences of both Kuntzman and McLoughlin emphasize the importance of living on an Honors floor as a first-year. 

In the end, these students believe that living on an Honors floor has been influential in their overall freshman journey, but for various reasons. McLoughlin focuses on the academic perspective, highlighting that this experience has encouraged her to stay motivated. It also created an environment that was challenging, but ultimately a contributing factor of success in her courses. According to Kuntzman, the peers he met on an Honors floor had the most influence on his first year. As they all have similar things in common, it made the process of developing friendships rather easy. Therefore, Honors housing has proven to support the academic and social needs of its members. 

As the spring semester comes to end, these students will have officially survived their first year. With that brings the question of Honors housing in the future. McLoughlin and Kuntzman face a level of uncertainty of sticking with Honors housing in their upcoming years, but both plan on rooming with those they met on their first-year floor. This effectively demonstrates that an Honors housing setting presents them an opportunity to develop relationships with like-minded people who possess the qualities of what they desire and need in roommates. These relationships will further the role of a first-year Honors floor in keeping them challenged and motivated as they continue their journey within the Honors Program. 

While living on an Honors floor during their first year may not be a necessity for each student, the experience of doing so has proven to have a profound impact on multiple individuals. Nonetheless, the first year is a journey full of highs and lows, and the Honors Program is a wonderful resource in achieving academic and social success, no matter where its members live. 

Previous Post

Introducing the 2022 Honors Art Exhibition’s ‘Best of Show’

Read about why this year’s artist chooses to participate in the exhibition each year.

Read More
Next Post

Introducing the 2022 Honors Art Exhibition’s ‘Best of Show’

Read about why this year’s artist chooses to participate in the exhibition each year.

Read More