As the year winds down, high school seniors debate acceptance letters and contemplate which college is right for them. If you decided to go blue this year, congratulations on the best choice of your life! Being a freshman at the University of Michigan is an experience unlike anything else, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. With the final month of my first year of college around the corner, all that’s left to do is look ahead and pass down advice to the incoming class. My first piece of wisdom is that housing can be a stressful process, but theres no need to fret! As an incoming freshman, you don’t have much of a choice as to which dorm you end up in anyway. However, it helps to be informed on all of the various living options, and the positive and negatives of each one! Here are the in’s and out of the main freshman year dorms, the things left off the university website and not mentioned on campus tours.
West Quad, the Ultimate Palace.
If you open the housing letter to the golden letters of “West Quad,” consider yourself royalty. Besides being in the center of campus, just a few steps away from all the best restaurants and coffee shops, it's connected to the union. Yeah, that’s right, when it's 20 degrees and snowing you don’t have to go outside to get that heart-warming cup of Starbucks coffee. The bathrooms are beautiful, the rooms are ginormous, there are many study rooms and cubicles, and the entire dorm resembles a recently renovated hotel. Not to mention it’s social and a great way to meet long lasting friends just down the hall!
South Quad: The Brains and the Balls
Just across the street we have South Quad, another luxury destination. Although not as social as West Quad, South was also recently re-done and absolutely fabulous. The rooms are big, the bathrooms are nice, and it's also in a great location. The entire 9th floor is a quiet study lounge, where students all hang out and do homework together. Both honors students and athletes live in South Quad, so your neighbor may be a football star as well! The best part is it has the best dining hall on campus, and let me tell you, walking down in your pajamas for meals is truly a gift that goes unnoticed at home.
East Quad: The Orientation Hot Spot
As we continue on our tour around campus we stop at East Quad, the closest dorm to all your classes. With Ross Business School across the street, Espresso Royale down the block, and the Diag one minute away, East Quad could not be more convenient. You will get the real-life dorm experience here at orientation, and trust me, you will be impressed. Once again, it is equipped with beautiful rooms, the nicest bathrooms on campus, study rooms, and a dining hall. However, although a dining hall in the dorm is always nice, the food is not as good as South Quad's dining hall. It’s also important to keep in mind that the dorm has a not-so social reputation and isn't the best place to meet other first-year students, as not many freshmen are picked to live here.
Alice Lloyd: A Modern Paradise
Our next destination: The Hill. Although The Hill is a 10-15 minute walk from main campus, most of the incoming freshmen will live here, and therefore many people prefer to live in one of these dorms. If you are going to live on The Hill, Alice Lloyd is the place to be. Although it’s not historically known to be social, this year there was a mass migration to Lloyd, and it became a secret freshman hot destination. The study rooms are modern and comfortable, and in my opinion, one of the best places to get work done on campus. The dorm is only a few years old, so it comes clean and beautiful rooms and bathrooms. The entire dorm has a light and airy feel to it, and you can find people studying on the main floor together at all hours of the day! If you’re placed in Lloyd, consider yourself a winner!
Mosher Jordan: Nom Nom
I don’t know many people who live in Mosher-Jordan, otherwise known as “Mojo.” However, it’s a nice dorm and the fact that it holds The Hill-area dining hall is a huge plus. The dorm also includes Victors, a convenience store in which you can both buy snacks or order coffee on the go with your M-card. Victors was my best friend and freshman year life savior during early classes and late night hunger streaks, and I will miss it dearly. The rooms are big, study areas are nice, and bathrooms are okay. However, it’s not very social, as not many freshmen live in this dorm.
Couzen's: 5-Star Resort
Just like West, Couzens is the luxury hotel of dorms on the hill. Both the rooms and bathrooms are large and beautiful, and students are seen as royalty walking around feeling clean as can be. Most floors comes with a mini kitchen and stove area, and there are many study rooms and multi-use television lounge's where people gather and socialize. However, the dorm is not social, as it is not predominantly freshmen and not a great place to meet a wide range of people. It is located near Palmer Commons cafe, which sells the best coffee on The Hill and is a great and relaxing place to get hours and hours of work done. If you see Couzens, get ready to smile!
Mary Markley: the "social" dorm
“Mary Markley is so much fun, definitely the place to be as a freshman,” they said. THEY WERE WRONG. Markley is not one of my favorites, to say the least. Although it’s the only entirely freshmen dorm, and used to be social, fun, and exciting at all hours of the night, this all disappeared and was replaced by an infestation of mice and cockroaches. They do have the hideaway, which is a fun study area in the basement, and the pantry, which comes with your favorite junk food and drinks. It is not the worst option, and you will be perfectly fine. However, the rooms are very small, bathrooms are not nice, and the overall dorm has not been renovated since before your parents went to college. Seriously, the rooms still have landline phones connected to the wall! It is also the farthest hill dorm from campus, and the wind tunnel is not necessarily enjoyable on cold winter days.
Oxford: the north campus of main campus
Although not clearly stated, Oxford is a highly isolated dorm to live in as a freshman student. It is not one big connected dorm, but instead many smaller areas that freshman are placed in. It is about a 15-20 minute walk from main campus, which is in no way convenient. However, many freshmen say that because the buildings are smaller, freshman get very close with the people on their floor and form a special sense of community! However, I would not recommend choosing Oxford as a first choice, as although stated in the "hill area", it is not close to any of the other freshman dorms on the hill and some feel isolated from much of the student population.
North Campus: Bursley, Baits, and Northwood.
North campus is home to a large percentage of incoming freshmen, however, it is NOT an ideal place to live. It is the only area on campus that is not a walk-able distance. Instead, in order to get back to your dorm, students must take the blue bus, a transportation system that stops running at 2am. Revolving your day around on a bus schedule can be tricky, and definitely inconvenient. When the housing form is released, I would not recommend choosing “north,” as the area to live in for logistic purposes. However, don’t fret if you get it, many freshmen love it and meet their best friends in both Burlsey and Bates dorms! Happy Living!