Living in the residence halls is convenient, especially if you’re in the dorms that are just a 2 minute walk away from classes. But are the dorms located in the center of the campus really the best dorms, or will you be happier in a dorm located 10 minutes away (walking distance)?
Here are a few general facts about the dorms located in the center of campus. It’s important to note that every university is different, and you can make the most out of your experience wherever you wind up; if you just put the effort forth.
The closer you are to campus, the shorter your walk to classes will be (unless you live in a huge campus). That means you get to sleep in later than students who have to walk 10-15 minutes every morning. Plus other amenities such as the gym, library, and cafeteria are usually closer to the center of campus than they are to outlying dorms (although some universities, like Penn State and Michigan, have cafeterias for almost every residence hall).
In most cases, there isn’t anywhere to park in the center of campus. You’re probably going to have to walk to get to your car. However if your school has a good transportation system chances are that won’t matter. You’ll be able to ride a bus wherever you need to go, and you won’t have to pay for it either.
If you attend an urban university, finding somewhere to eat will probably not be an issue, but if you’re in a more rural area you might want to live closer to the off-campus restaurants. No matter how good your cafeteria food is, it’s not good enough. You will want to eat out occasionally, to satisfy your craving for real Vietnamese, Chinese, or good pizza. Chances are, paying for delivery isn’t in your budget though.
Dorms in the center of campus are generally smaller and older than those dorms 10-15 minutes away (walking). These buildings were typically constructed when the campus was originally built and they’re usually traditional single-room dorm residence halls. So, if you’re looking for a suite-style dorm with plenty of room to stretch your legs and private bathrooms, you might not find what you’re looking for here.
Amenities usually vary by residence hall. It doesn’t matter where the dorm is located, in the center of campus or not, you probably will have a game room, TV room, and a study room. Some of the other amenities include picnic areas, computer labs, and gym facilities, but those facilities aren’t dictated by location. You’ll have to check with your university to see which residence halls have those amenities available.