It’s difficult to see the difference between residence halls; one building might be taller and another might have more study rooms, but why does that matter? Sometimes basic factors can help you narrow your list down to one or two buildings, but the question still remains: What makes one residence hall better than another?
One thing you should always look for is access to a community kitchen.
Your kitchen is probably something that you take for granted. Right now, it’s hard to imagine that you’ll care about having a place to cook freshman year: after all won’t you have a meal plan? But reality is often not as pretty as you imagine.
The cafeteria food is never bad. There’s always something to eat, and chances are the food will actually be tasty. The problem is that cafeteria food gets old. The variety is limited. After a few months of eating the same salad and the same consistent group of foods, you will get tired of it. Think of your high school lunchroom that’s usually what college cafeterias are like, with a few notable exceptions.
A community kitchen is the solution. Yes, you’ll need your own supply of pots and utensils, but you won’t have to thoroughly clean the kitchen. The community kitchen is a free space that you can stop in and use whenever it’s convenient for you. It’s almost totally hassle free.
So if you’re not interested in living off canned ravioli and PB&J, if you really do enjoy trying out new recipes, or you just like to occasionally bake some treats than a community kitchen might be the perfect amenity for your dorm.