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Silicon Valley Sociological Review

Abstract

Our research project investigates the connection between living location (off or on-campus housing or living at home) and physical, emotional, and mental health. The guiding research question for this project was: How does living location impact the emotional, physical, and mental health of Santa Clara college students? To gather data for this research project, each researcher completed two interviews conducted over Zoom and did two hours of field observations. This research paper, which limited its scope to Santa Clara University students, contributes to early findings on the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on student health. We found that SCU students living at home experienced better physical health than students living near campus and those living near campus experienced better emotional and mental health than those living at home. This shows that students being near others who can relate to their academic and professional loads improves their mental and emotional health, thus emphasizing the positive effect of student housing near campus on college students' overall health. This also provides empirical support for the decreased physical health in students living near campus during the COVID-19 pandemic. Future studies should explore these themes on a larger scale at other institutions for more generalizability.

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