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Living on Campus: How to Choose Your Residence Hall

 Written by    February 21, 2017

If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume one of two things: you’re an incoming freshman and you JUST CAN’T WAIT to decide where you’re going to live (!!!!!!!) or you’re an incoming freshman and you REALLY REALLY REALLY HAVE NO IDEA where you’re going to live. Both are great situations to be in because LITERALLY EVERYBODY that is new to college is wondering the same things you are.

In this post, I’m going to break campus housing down into three categories: price, location, and perks. At the end I’ve attached some helpful websites from Ohio State so you can check out all of the residence halls in a little more depth.

There are three “grades” of on-campus housing: grade 3 housing is the cheapest, and grade 1 is the most expensive. While price probably shouldn’t be the determining factor in where you choose to live, it is an important one. It is probably wise to ask yourself what you are willing to pay for. For instance, grade 3 housing does not have air conditioning (they’re generally the oldest buildings on campus). Some residence halls come with kitchen areas in the basements or rec rooms (yup, that makes it a little more expensive). Are you looking to live in a double, triple, quad, or single? All of these affect price as well. You might have to compromise some things based on your preferences or price range, but it all evens out in the end (if you don’t have air conditioning you’ll need to invest in box fans).

Campus housing is generally divided into three areas: north, south, and west. A good thing to do is decide (again) where you are willing to compromise. If you’re REALLY into football, you might want to live on west campus where you can be near the stadium. Or maybe you know that you’ll have most of your classes on the South Oval–then you’ll want to find a residence hall on south campus. Or MAYBE, you really LIKE Buffalo Wild Wings, so you want to live right on Lane Ave. Odds are, if you live on north campus you won’t have to walk as far to your classes and most events. South campus has its advantages too, though; that is where the Union is, a couple uninhabited libraries, and fewer residence halls (which means fewer people). I personally would not worry about the party scene affecting your sleep schedule. No matter what residence hall you live in, you will live with partiers (and you know what they say: “the party don’t start ‘til I walk in!”). Ohio State does a good job of maintaining its buildings and creating a safe atmosphere for everyone. Residence life across the board does not change according to location…

….but it can change according to your preferences. Smaller residence halls (again, usually grade 3) are great if you want to immediately merge with a small community. With fewer people in the building, it is more likely for you guys to learn one another’s names and MAYBE even become best friends for life. Then again, larger residence halls give you an opportunity to meet just a TON of people. Your neighbors also probably won’t take it personally if you don’t hang out with them, since you’ll have, like, 100 neighbors. Some residence halls have musical practice rooms in the basement. If you are a music major, this might be useful to you. Other residence halls are homes to learning communities. If you are a female engineering major, or a nursing major (there are other categories, too) then this could very well be YOUR new home.

Really, there isn’t a wrong choice when it comes to residence halls–you’ve already made the right choice in going to Ohio State (congratulations!). If you end up really hating your residence hall, though, you can switch after your first semester. You do have to live on campus for four semesters, so you’ve also got time to check out other buildings before you apply for housing again.

Check out the following links for more guidance:

Search residence halls and find what amenities they offer: housing.osu.edu/roomsearch
Scholars programs locations: honors-scholars.osu.edu/scholars/community
Ohio State housing video: youtube.com/watch?v=_Z0DA1n-Vg0

Advice, Author, Campus Life, Honors & Scholars, Housing, Personal, Student Life, University Housing

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