All freshmen at the University of Tennessee Knoxville are required to live in an on campus dorm unless they are either married or living with a parent or guardian as is stated here. Though this may be viewed negatively due to higher cost of living and lack of certain freedoms, it does have benefits to community building. It gives the new students a chance to bond with new friends they may not have met, easier access to UT campus events, and the shortest possible move to any campus resource they may need.
Being on your own for the first time can sound like and be a scary thing, but living in the college dorms makes many resources available that make it a little less frightening. There are always either Resident Assistants or Office Assistants sitting at the front desk, entering your residence hall is as simple as swiping or tapping your student id, and you have the security . These three things make living on your own feel more safe. Many people will say that living in a dorm their freshman year of college helped them find a lot more friends, and find people more like them. Each of the dorms have a stereotype of what it is like, how strict it is, honors dorms, athlete dorms, etc. These specific stereotypes mean that normally the dorm you are living in is full of a lot of people just like you.
There may be some merit to the fact that freshman are being introduced to a new and stressful environment which could weaken the immune system. So it's important to think of your health. Many first year students neglect taking care of themselves by eating right, taking proper rest(sleeping), and even by becoming inactive. Many campus dorms do have rumors of mold. In fact, Laurel Hall was essentially evacuated last year due to mold concerns. Although some people say they have visible mold in their dorms, the university is generally quick to crack down on issues like this and you can apply for a full room transfer. The general consensus is that, though there are definite issue with UT residence halls, there are solutions provided you use them. Most people absolutely love it, and say it has brought them not just the experience they thought they wanted, but more. One specific student says, “Yeah, there is a lot of negative things you hear about the dorms, but once freshmen get to this college they will not be complaining too much about living on campus.” Living on campus your first year is an experience to have, and it should be required all over.