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ABAC Campus Living Experience Something Really Special

Three years ago, Brooke Cooley loaded up her clothes, her toothbrush and most importantly, her horse, for a four-hour ride on Interstate 75 to begin classes at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.  It was her first taste of living on a college campus.

“I started at ABAC Lakeside, and it was an awesome experience,” Cooley, a Diversified Agriculture major from Tampa, Fla., said.  “As a freshman, I got to know everybody.”

Cooley liked the on-campus living experience so much after her freshman year that she has spent the last two years on campus at ABAC Place in a four-bedroom, two-bath apartment that she shares with three roommates, each with a private bedroom.

“I met one of my roommates freshman year, and we have been best friends ever since,” Cooley said.  “I love living on campus.  I like having my own room, and our apartment has a full kitchen that I share with my roommates.”

Cooley said she doesn’t cook but one of her roommates is very talented in the kitchen.

“She’s from north Georgia and cooks Georgia home-grown food,” Cooley said.  “It’s great.”

Housing applications are now being accepted at ABAC for students who would like to live on campus during the 2014-15 academic year.  Freshmen live at ABAC Lakeside on the north shore of Lake Baldwin, and upperclassmen live at ABAC Place.  Dr. Chris Kinsey, Director of Residence Life, predicts another full house.

“We had around 1,300 students living on campus last fall, and we anticipate those numbers again,” Kinsey said.  “This is a good stop for students as they step out on their own for the first time.  There’s a safety net because there are people here who care about them.”

Kinsey said living on campus has many positive points.

“Living on campus really enhances the college experience,” Kinsey said.  “Students who live on campus tend to make better grades.  They tend to be more involved.  You’re also living here with students who want the same thing as you, a great college education.  You know who your neighbors are.”

Parents sending their 18-year-old away from home for the first time ask Kinsey a lot of questions.  The safety factor is always one of them.

“We have a very secure environment here,” Kinsey said.  “At ABAC Place, they swipe their identification card to get into the building, they swipe it again to get into their rooms, and then they have a key to their private bedroom.

“ABAC Police patrol 24 hours a day.  We also have community assistants on each floor to help students, and we have cameras at the entrances to the buildings.”

Dolly Melton, a freshman Rural Studies major from Statenville, likes the sense of community at ABAC Lakeside.

 “Lakeside really promotes meeting new people and making new friends,” Melton said.  “I am particularly fortunate because my roommate and I have been friends since kindergarten. I love the close knit community of students at ABAC.  Everyone who lives at Lakeside is a freshman just like me so I can experience the first year of college with the same type of people as me.”

Lakeside residents eat in the Donaldson Dining Hall, and Melton treasures that experience as well.

“There are always a variety of things to choose from,” Melton said.  “You can get something from the grill or get a salad or pizza.  Who doesn’t love pizza?  There is always a hot meal.”

Cooley finds yet another reason for living on campus.  She’s close to her horse.  For the past three years Cooley has been located just minutes away from her horse, Penny, who is stabled on the west side of the ABAC campus.  She rides Penny at least three times a week.

“With the lake, there’s plenty of room to ride here,” Cooley said.  “There’s just nothing like ABAC.”

For housing information, students can visit the ABAC web site at www.abac.edu/housing.