As a freshman here at Ohio University, I understand the struggle that takes place the second semester of senior year in high school when it's time to decide where you and your roommate will reside on campus the following fall semester. There are three different greens to choose from (or four; is North Green a thing?) and multiple residence halls on each of those greens. How was I supposed to know which one was the best? What each one offers? Which one will be closest to my classes? My roommates' classes? I remember specifically googling, "best residence halls at OU," with absolutely no luck.
After talking to upperclassmen, visiting a few halls, looking at hall profiles, floor plans, and comparing proximity to key buildings/uptown, and of course adding in a little personal opinion, I have complied a list of FRESHMEN ONLY residence halls from worst to best.
21-25. Atkinson/True/Dougan/Weld/Armbruster (South Green)
These five compete for dead-last. Situated in the back of "Dirty South," these dorms are the furthest from Court Street, Baker Center, Alden Library, and a lot of the popular academic buildings/lecture halls. On top of this, they do not have AC or kitchen spaces, and have not-so-spacious rooms. These halls are usually the last to be picked during the housing lottery, so do yourself a favor and keep scrolling.
19-20. Wray/Ewing (South Green)
Wray and Ewing usually get mixed in with the worst 5 listed above because they are also located on the back of South, but there is a small perk that comes from living here: If you're lucky enough to live on the third or fourth floor, you score AC. Not all rooms on the first and second do, so choose wisely or keep movin'.
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17-18. Gamertsfelder/Ryors (East Green/West Green)
Gamertsfelder, regularly referred to as "Gam," is a dorm located in the heart of East Green, and Ryors is the First Scholars dorm located on West Green. While both halls are in very close proximity to their respective dining halls (Shively for Gam and Boyd for Ryors), I can't help but specifically remember touring Ryors on the university tour and staying in Gam for orientation. Both offered small rooms and small closets, so if you have a lot of clothes, neither are good options for you. Also, rumor has it, if OU has too many freshmen, they will make the doubles in Ryors into triples. Yikes. A pro to living in either of these is that you can reach any part of campus or the general uptown area within 10 to 15 minutes.
13-16. Perkins/Washington/Johnson/Lincoln (East Green)
To be completely honest, I don't know much about these dorms at all. I've heard "they are spacious and nice," and thats about it. All of the dorms offer AC but only Lincoln offers a laundry room/laundry center. Also, you'd have to apply to Washington, Johnson, or Lincoln to live there because they are specialized living communities!
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12. Boyd (West Green)
Because why wouldn't you want to live directly above the best dining hall on campus? Boyd is home to "Global Living" living community and offers fairly spacious (CLEAN) rooms, AC, and both freshmen and sophomores can live there. You're also 3 to 5 minutes from Uptown, Baker and Alden. Score.
11. Treudley (West Green)
Treudley is the one place on West, during the 2016-2017 year at least, that offered a laundry center. Lucky dogs. Aside from this, it offers AC and all of the rooms are spacious. Another pro to living here is that there is less than a one minute walk to Boyd dining hall and again, you are at most five minutes from the uptown area.
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10. Shively (East Green)
Ever heard of the "Shively shits?" Well you will soon enough if you live here. Shively is located on the south part of East Green and is home to Shively dining hall, notorious for offering the most unhealthy (but sometimes tasty) food. The good thing about Shively is that it offers AC, a laundry room, and is renovated on the inside, a HUGE bonus. Something else that may appeal to you is that this hall, in particular, is substance-free. Although all the halls are technically substance-free, there is an unwritten rule among all the students that live here that there will be absolutely no substance use. It also has a very central location which makes it convenient to walk anywhere in a very small amount of time, except for the fact it is located at the bottom of Morton Hill. Otherwise, this is a prime place to live!
8-9. Crawford/Pickering (South Green)
Both Crawford and Pickering are located at the front and clean part of South Green. There's a clean part to South? Yes! My boyfriend lived in Pickering his freshman year and although it wasn't always the cleanest building, it offered very spacious quads and doubles. Each floor has its own lounge and you share a bathroom with a very small group of people on your floor. Both are about a five minute or less walk to Nelson, the biggest dining hall on campus which offers a large variety of food. The only downside to living here is that you have to climb Morton Hill or Jeff Hill to really get anywhere (Baker, Alden, Uptown, etc.)
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7. Sargent (West Green)
...And here's where my own personal bias comes in. I lived here freshmen year, all the way up on the fourth floor, and met my absolute best friends here. While it doesn't have a laundry center/room or big living rooms on each floor, it does have VERY clean rooms and facilities, as well as AC. Sargent offers small study nooks on almost every floor and a good size lounge on the first floor. It's about a minute walk to Boyd and is directly next to Treudley where you'd do your laundry. My longest walk was Morton, which took me exactly 10 minutes from the minute I walked out the door to my class. I could get to Uptown in absolutely no time. (West is best).
6. Voigt (North Green)
Now, I would have never thought to put Voigt near the top of the list, but I had an overwhelming amount of responses from girls who live here that said it was a great residence hall. Voigt, which is normally placed under the East Green index, is really located on North Green, above College Green. It is the Women's Leadership living community primarily because it is OU's only all-women's dorm. It is located a street away from Court Street and offers fairly clean and fairly spacious rooms and facilities. Each floor has a small laundry room and the residence hall itself has a kitchen space. While it is a bit of a walk to get to either Shively or Boyd dining halls, you are the closest to all the restaurants that Uptown has to offer, and for that the rest of us are extremely jealous. Oh, and of course there is AC.
5. James (West Green)
This is where all the jocks lived in my 2016-2017 year, whether or not they will open it up to all freshmen next year I am not sure, but if they do, pick here. James is another residence hall on West Green that has AC and is supposed to get a kitchen space and laundry room. The bathrooms here are newly renovated and the hall itself is very clean. It offers a very short walk to Boyd dining hall and Uptown, as well as many of the academic lecture halls, except of course Morton, which is at most 10 minutes (like Sargent).
4. Scott Quad (East Green)
Why do I wanna live above the OUPD? Scott Quad is located at the top of Morton Hill and is at the center of everything. Everything. Rooms here offer a lot of space and are pretty clean. There is a nice laundry room located within the building and has AC. But really, the location.
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3. Jefferson (East Green)
This is another one I have never been in, but I was told that if I didn't put this one near the top, I was an idiot. So here it goes, Jefferson is centrally located on East Green and offers a short walk to Shively dining hall. It is newly renovated, with its own market, and has very, very clean facilities which include a kitchen space and laundry room, all air conditioned. Overall, one of the best dorms on campus, according to public opinion.
2. Bush (East Green)
I cannot begin to tell anyone how many times I emailed housing and residence life asking to be notified when a room became available in this hall. Bush is a residence hall located on East Green that has AC, a good walk to almost anywhere on campus, and above all, SINKS. Each room has a sink, how cool is that? Aside from the amenities, it offers clean and roomy-rooms. You are lucky as all hell if you live here.
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1. Tanaka (South Green)
And finally, Tanaka. While it is listed as South Green, it is really part of "The Side Five" which stretch a little more west than the rest of South Green's residence halls. This is the place everyone who is lucky enough to be placed first in the lottery rushes to pick. Tanaka is number one because it is one of the absolute newest residence halls on the Athens campus and is fully air conditioned, offers a kitchen space, nice lounges on each floor, and laundry rooms, all of which are clean and modern. Unfortunately, Tanaka is the only freshmen dorm of the newly built dorms, so don't get upset if it's gone almost instantly.
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But of course, no matter what resident hall you and your assigned roommate get thrown into this coming fall, I promise that you will find friends in any living situation and make the space your own. Embrace the room you are given and make the most of it because freshmen year flies by, and fretting over picking the "perfect room" will eventually be the least of your worries. Embrace the communal bathrooms, loud neighbors, and annoying quiet hours because the dorm life is essential to the college experience and any hall you live in will become your favorite hOUme.