By Kayla Robinson
Entirely East Lansing
EAST LANSING – Raising a family while living in a college town can have its ups and downs, depending on the person you’re talking to and how they feel about it. It could be no problem at all, or it could be seen as a disadvantage.
Twenty-nine-year-old Andrew Davis, a sales associate at Rally House who lives in East Lansing, said living in the city when you’re not in college can be too much if you’re not into the so-called “party lifestyle.”
“If you’re not into the party scene, it’s really not a good place to live,” Davis said. “I try to get as far away from students as I can. I was never really into that scene when I was in college.”
On the flip side, Davis also said he would still recommend people to raise families here.
“If you can get past all these fraternities and student houses, it’s a lovely town,” Davis said. “It’s very well-kept, happy, and you can walk your dog at three in the morning with no problem. It’s the safest place I’ve ever lived.”
Derreck Turner, a wireless consultant at the Verizon store on Grand River Avenue who lives in the East Lansing area as well, said it may be entertaining living in a college town, but actually raising one near the campus is not ideal.
“In the residential area, raising a family is fine,” Turner said. “Just don’t do it by the college kids; sometimes it can get out of hand. You wouldn’t really want your kids out and about near the partying and all that.”
Turner also said it keeps the older people in younger mindset living on a college campus.
“I see 90-year-old women and men at football games standing there doing the ‘Whip’ and the ‘Nae-Nae,’” Turner said. “They keep them up to speed of what’s going on in modern society, and it does help to keep them a little bit lively. Students typically give the older people their respect around here, so it’s nice.”
David Pencek, the editor of the Town and Gown magazine at State College in Pennsylvania, said that the pros and cons of living in a college town ranges from offering many things for people to do to not enjoying being around the “party scene.”
“With living in a college town, you can have a pretty educated community,” Pencek said. “It brings diversity to the city as well, and there’s students from all parts of the world to study. I think there’s a lot of entertainment that universities bring too. As far as cons, the partying atmosphere could come to be too much. It can be a problem in the sense that many students don’t really care about the town, solely just the parties.”
Pencek also said from personal experience raising a family near a university, he has no real complaints with it.
“I’m currently raising two young sons, and I love it,” Pencek said. “I think it’s great, with no fears. The benefits really outweigh the negatives.”
Rodney Page, 38, also lives in East Lansing and has children as who are involved in the East Lansing school district. Page said there’s no other place he would want his kids to go.
“I think East Lansing has great schools,” Page said. “My oldest son is in East Lansing schools and my youngest is enrolled in daycare here as well, and I just think it’s very diverse. That’s one of the main attractions for me because you just have so many different people since it’s a college campus that you may not be able to have in a place that doesn’t have a big university.”