College has long been depicted as a first official leap from the home base toward adulthood, and it is almost as commonly associated with a full-force launch into the wild party scene. The stereotypical, fun-loving, less studious image has been largely impossible to escape.
In 1978, it was promoted and celebrated in “Animal House.” In the early 2000’s it was shown again in “Road Trip,” “Back to School,” and “American Pie.” Even today, the image of the classic, 24/7 party vibe is still alive and kicking in movies like “Life of the Party,” and that film is about a mother going back to school later in life…
Beyond the rankings and the cinematic world, there has a lot of press lately on how party culture and general stress is affecting the physical and mental health of America’s youth. Bans of popular products like vapes are on the rise and so are corresponding response programs like “escape the vape” where schools incentivize students to move away from the harmful products. Advertising campaigns for flavored products of all kinds such as tobacco are being more heavily questioned. Mental health campaigns are being launched in response to a spike in student needs. Many initiatives are being worked on to ensure the health of future generations.
But this article isn’t about condemning popular (admittedly entertaining) movies, how the public ranks party schools, vaping, tobacco, or mental health initiatives. It is about why an increasing number of students are making a conscious decision to prioritize their health on all levels. In response, schools like Endicott are taking an active approach toward creating and expanding communities where all students can thrive.
Healthy Living Communities at Endicott
For those who don’t know about Endicott’s Healthy Living residence options, we welcome the opportunity to share them with you. In three specific residence halls, currently Hamilton, Wenham, and Hawthorne Halls, Endicott students can choose to live well holistically and also choose to remain substance-free.
Students who choose Healthy Living have different reasons for wanting to be a part of such a community, yet their common interests drive their passion for their special living arrangement. Some students choose to focus on healthy eating and cooking habits, while others use their time to get out and exercise (some of that exercise happens right on the oceanfront lawn). It is a very individualized experience that helps to forge strong bonds. Each year as a group, the residents decide on goals that will allow them to come together and live, while learning from each other.
Writing about an initiative means little without showcasing the voices behind it, so we spoke with some Healthy Living residents to understand more fully why they made the choice to live in this specialized and substance-free environment.
Brian Wightman says, “I chose it to live close by the beaches and water. Also, I think other people don’t know that we have a full kitchen, so we can cook full meals anytime we please and that the size of the rooms in the house are huge. My experience has been great because–with it being a house–everyone has become closer. Adjusting to college living [in this setting] is much like living at home.”
Libby Evans says, “One aspect of Healthy Living that the majority of people (at Endicott) may not know about is the sense of community that it creates. The strong relationships that me and the people around me have created through Healthy Living are unlike many of the friendships I've seen elsewhere.
“My experience in Healthy Living has certainly been a good one. I enjoy having a small and comfortable community to come back to after a long day of classes and activities. There are endless reasons that students choose Healthy Living but regardless of that, anyone who is willing, can find a wonderful community.”
The Healthy Living option for housing is in line with Endicott’s job and internship-focused mission. We believe housing should reflect the population and are happy to provide alternatives to a “typical” college residence hall.
Healthy Living/Substance-Free Living and Future Housing Alignment
As we continue to grow Endicott’s special interest housing communities, we will remain focused on populations who want a unique sense of place. In additional to Healthy Living/Substance Free, Endicott also currently has a women’s-only building. Residence Life is currently working to roll out additional Living Learning Communities and themed-based housing for academic year 2020/2021.
If you would like to learn more about Healthy Living and other campus housing options visit endicott.edu/residencelife.