The good news is, if you have a question, the kid next to you is probably wondering the same thing. And the better news is, if you ask me, I’ll tell you everything I know. Lately a lot of 2016 freshman have been asking for my opinion on dorms.
This is not the freshman orientation version of the dorms and this is not the rumor from your friends that haven’t even lived here. They don’t know what they are talking about just as much as you don’t. I won’t lie to you. I won’t sugar coat anything. I’ll tell ya what you need to know straight up on every topic I blog about.
First thing’s first! Don’t worry! Wherever you are placed to live on campus in the fall won’t make a single difference in your freshman year experience! And that’s a promise! Okay, there is a science to this, so hopefully I hit up every worry, insecurity, rumor (good or bad), and excitement- whatever you have heard about all the dorms!
You’re all dying to know about the North West Neighborhood. So I’ll start here. I know how it is! “Let’s all request it and hope we get McNutt because that’s the party dorm and nobody cool lives anywhere else. Oh, and did you hear it’s coed?! Yeah my boyfriend is totally jealous and freaking out because I got McNutt and they are stuck in Central.”
NO, stop right there. Let’s just lay out the facts first. We have Briscoe, McNutt, Foster, and Collins making up the North West Neighborhood. It is also true that athletes tend to get placed in these three dorms because it is closer to the football stadium, Assembly Hall, the indoor track, the baseball diamond, and... you get the picture. I guess as far as partying goes, people flock to North West because pledge rides go there to pick up girls at dorms for frat parties. They will go other places, but they kind of expect the girls to all get ready at McNutt/Briscoe/Foster and picked up there purely for convenience and saving time. Some of you may never have heard of Collins, and this is because it is located by itself across the street from the HPER building. You will hear people refer to it as “Hogwarts.” I’ll admit the two are strikingly similar- in a fun way though! My friends and I would go there to eat because we felt like Dumbledore was going to come out at any moment to congratulate Harry Potter on a great year. But the main dining hall at the other three dorms is Gresham. And something cool about Gresh is at night, the Hoosier Den opens! It becomes a place for karaoke and Junk food. Not sure what else college kids could want in the wee hours of the night! The “HooDen” definitely caters to the drunchies after parties.
Alrighty, next up, the South East Neighborhood. The place for the artists, pep band, and all things Jacobs School of music. You’re thinking social suicide is in the cards for you if you are not involved in any of those, yet placed there anyways?
WRONG! I met so many fun, cool, people there! Whether they were involved in the fine arts or not! Besides that, it is very prestigious to be involved in those things on campus, so have respect! The facts are these: Forest, Read, and Willkie are the trio making up the South East Neighborhood. These dorms are literally right across from the Jacob’s School of Music located on 3rd and Jordan, so it makes sense that most people submitted to those schools live there. It is kind of silly to make an assumption about the entire neighborhood that nobody like you is going to live there. A few of my best friends I made from freshman year lived in that neighborhood. What I like about them is that they are right on 3rd street. Prime location if you are trying to go to math, science, 3rd street frats and sororities, restaurants, and also a bunch of cool shops, including a bookstore. The best place to eat in these dorms is at the buffet. The only other place I know of that has one is Collins. They also have an amazing bistro. Me and my friends would ruin our workout by going there after and ordering waffles covered in ice cream and chocolate syrup and whip cream lol… YUMMY! But really, I don’t know why the stigma is that SE is off in some foreign land away from everything. It is ON CAMPUS- doesn’t get much better than that my friends. When you have to live in a house or an apartment as a sophomore is when you have a right to complain about not being close to things.
Last, but certainly not least- Central Neighborhood! AKA the academic neighborhood, dominated by a single ethnicity. This makes me laugh. It is not any more or less “academic” than the next. It is also in no way shape or form dominated by one ethnicity.
Okay so Central Neighborhood has the dorms Ashton, Eigenmann, Teter, and Wright. I lived in Teter; looking back, I couldn’t be more thankful that my roommate and I didn’t get what we wanted- which was McNutt! Maybe I’m a little bias because I lived there, but I don’t have one bad thing to say about Central! Talk about the PERFECT location on campus! It is an easy walk to all of the classes, right next to the Wells Library, and across the street from the SRSC. No excuse not to work out, yikes. My favorite thing was being across the street from a complex that had Pizza X, Subway, an ATM, Sol Spa Tanning, a coffee shop, Red Mango (frozen yogurt), a Chinese restaurant called Fortune Cookie, and more! YUM! Most of the time I spent studying was in a place called the Nest located in Teter. It’s a comfortable place to hang out, do group studying, and is open 24 hours. The main dining hall is Wright. To add to this perfection, in Eigenmann, there is a book store for renting/buying books, school supplies, clothes, and more! Let’s not forget the sand volley ball, tennis courts, and basketball courts! Central really is the hook up.
Each of the dorms in all of the neighborhoods also have their own laundry rooms, random pianos, libraries, lounges, help centers, mail rooms, and convenience stores. We call those “C-Stores.” They have everything you could need from cleaning supplies, to microwave food, to shampoo, to little concession stands. The coolest thing is you can use your meal points! So if you are running low on deodorant, you can buy some without even going outside at 60% off just by swiping your ID card! The C-Stores will quickly become your bffs.
But the great thing is, there is something special and specific about each of the dorms. They are close to different main streets, hang out spots, classes, and places to eat & dining halls. When I say dining hall, I mean imagine a food court in a mall- you have options. Keep in mind, you can go absolutely wherever you want to eat and use your meal points. Just because you live in McNutt doesn’t mean the only place you can eat at is Gresh. If you live in South East and you want to use the Central book store, you can. If you live in Central and you want to chill in a lounge at North West, you can.
And yes boys and girls, there are coed dorms. Here's how it works. You live in a neighborhood, say central. In central, you live in a dorm, say Teter. The dorms are broken up into buildings. So within Teter, you might live in the building Boisen. Within these buildings, there are floors. The floors are either coed, all boy, or all girl floors. Each dorm has each set up. These set ups change from year to year. You may live in McNutt-Bocobo on an all guy floor. Or you may live in South East on a coed floor. There aren't group showers or crazy stuff like that. Honestly, it doesn't matter what your floor actually is because anybody can sleep anywhere, shower anywhere and do what they want... I lived on an all girl floor, yet this girl had her boyfriend sleep there and they were constantly taking showers together...
And one last note- all of the dorms will be putting on events all throughout the school year, but especially during welcome week. GO TO THOSE! Like I said, there are “fun” people and “not-so-fun” people in every dorm. Do yourself a solid and meet people in your area. It’ll just make living there more comfortable. Your RAs will be the ones putting these together. They are upperclassman who really want to get to know you and be there for you. They know how to have fun, planning stuff like cook outs, volley ball games, balloon fights, parties and more. Take pride in where you live on campus and attend these. Looking back, I can say I messed up by blowing it off. I was very happy, but I would have enjoyed the day to day life more if I would have made stronger connections with people in my area, instead of just everywhere else.
So forget what you heard. You are to the age now where it is time you draw your own conclusions and go into things with an open mind. Don’t cheat yourself of an experience, because everything IU has to offer is amazing and fulfilling- if you let it be! You are going to be away from home for the next year for the first time. It’s time to act like it.
If you have any more questions or topics you’d like me to cover, PLEASE ASK!! That’s where this blog came from. Don’t be shy; I will talk your ear off. I love reading your Facebook messages and tweet, so keep’em coming :)!!
Keep on keepin' on,
<3 Hoosier Lyss