For some sophomores, staying in the dorms is the best option

By Harrison Lindholm, Staff writer

Living in the dorms can be a fantastic experience for freshmen coming to campus for the first time, but for some students, it is a stressful situation. For some, the dorm room is the smallest room they have lived in. Dorm life could also be the first time students share a room with another person.

Shortly after adjusting to being in the dorms, freshmen are required to decide where to live for their sophomore year. Deciding on housing for the next chapter of your campus life can be difficult. Do you rent an apartment or house, move into your fraternity or sorority house or stay in the dorms for a second year? If you are like me and don’t like change, or have found that you are completely content in the dorms, staying in University or Private Certified Housing can be the easiest option.

As a sophomore in the dorms, I can tell you that it is a worthwhile decision. There are many benefits of living again in the residence halls. You get to choose your roommate, and after being at school for a little while, it is very easy to find someone that you resonate with and could see yourself living with.

As an upperclassman, you have an early pick for the resident halls. Those with a James Scholar or honors status have exclusive access to certain rooms and floors as well. If you utilize these privileges, you can snag a room in one of the most desirable dorms. These include the newly-built dorms in the six pack: Bousfield, Wassaja and Nugent.

Bousfield has suite-style rooms. These are larger than most, and bathrooms are shared between rooms. This provides you with much more privacy. If you work out a schedule with your suitemates, you never need to wait in line for a shower. Bousfield also has nice study rooms on each floor, as well as televisions in the common areas.

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    Wassaja is the newest dorm built on campus, and opened just in time for this fall. The rooms are arranged in pods, with individual-use bathrooms for each pod. Residents have lots of amenities to enjoy, including nice study lounges. Unlike other dorms, it has rooms set up for video chat calls so you can facetime your long-distance significant other or maybe even give your parents a call.

    Nugent is also a fantastic choice for students upgrading to a newer dorm. It has nice rooms and is connected to the Ike. Being connected to the place where you get your meals and packages is critical in the winter when the temperatures are below freezing. Nugent also has study areas and lounges with TVs for relaxation with your friends.

    If you are not able to get into the new dorms, there is still hope. You can get a triple room in many other dorms and have a lot of extra space. Also, some older dorms such as Weston, have rooms that used to be designated as triples, but now are considered doubles, so they are more spacious.

    Wherever you live, sophomores can strategically pick rooms next to their friends, so instead of one roommate to hang out with, you can surround yourself with people you know.

    For me, one of the main reasons I stayed in the residence halls was the meal plan. Although dining hall food can get repetitive, it is food that is prepared for you, instantly ready when you arrive at the dining hall — and the dishes are done for you when you are finished eating.

    Students who live in the residence halls also have access to the residence hall libraries. These contain many books as well as CDs, video games and DVDs. Students in residence halls have access to computers and printers, and many are located within the residence hall.

    It is also wonderful to have the opportunity to meet many new people in the dorms. So many interesting people study at Illinois, and it is a privilege to meet them. I definitely do not regret returning to the dorms for a second year.

    Harrison is a sophomore in DGS.

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