Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Dorms 101: A Crash Course in First-Year Housing

Roommates? Sharing bathrooms? RAs? What?!

Welcome to dorm life!

Since many of you are either newly admitted students (congrats!) or prospective students looking to gain some perspective on the UVa student experience, I thought I'd shed some light on the many housing options available here.

(This post will focus primarily on first year housing.)

McCormick Road Residence Area 

Affectionately known as "Old Dorms" to most UVa students, the McCormick Road Residence Area is made up of five dorm associations: Kent-Dabney, Metcalf-Lefevre, Bonnycastle-Hancock, Page-Emmet, and Echols-Humphrey. They're all traditional, hall-style dorms with communal bathrooms, and they're separated by floor in terms of gender. They're also only about a 5 minute walk from central grounds and most classes.

About the "old" part...

Yes. They are old. They may not have air-conditioning and the carpets may look like they're from the 1950's and I definitely wouldn't go in the bathroom without a solid pair of shower shoes...BUT. Old Dorms can also be an amazing place to live during your first year. They're known for their social atmosphere - so leave your door open and get to know your hallmates; they may become some of your best friends. You never know!

Important thing to note: During the 2017-2018 academic year, Bonnycastle, Kent, and Dabney will be closed for major renovation.

Alderman Road Residence Area

Elevators, TV lounges, and air-conditioning galore - welcome to "New Dorms" (yeah, you guessed it - they're new!). The Alderman Road Residence Area is made up of nine different dorm associations: Balz-Dobie, Cauthen, Gibbons, Kellogg, Lile-Maupin, Shannon, Tuttle-Dunnington, Watson-Webb, and Woody. They're all hall-style with communal bathrooms, and like old dorms, are also gendered by floor. They're about a 10 minute walk from central grounds, but located conveniently right next to Observatory Hill Dining Hall.

The "lowdown" on New Dorms:

Yes, they're new. They're shiny. They have ~fancy things~. But just like Old Dorms, they also have their downsides. New Dorms are located slightly farther away from central grounds, so if you're one to roll out of bed five minutes before class, living here might be somewhat of a struggle!

Malone: Due to the renovations going on at Old Dorms, some first-year students will be housed in Malone, which is structured similarly to New Dorms and is located just a few minutes away from them.

Gooch/Dillard Suite-Style

The Gooch/Dillard Suite-Style residence area is UVa's only suite-style dorm available to first-year students. It's made up of nine buildings, all with two-story suites that house 6-10 students each and come with furnished living and bath areas. Suites are single-sex, and yes, there is air-conditioning (!!!). These dorms are approximately a 15 minute walk from central grounds, but are located right next to Runk Dining Hall (unofficially known as the best dining hall on grounds).

The 411:

Gooch/Dillard is great if you're looking for the close-knit environment provided by suite-style dorms. But like any dorm, there are some downsides. Gooch/Dillard is the farthest dorm from central grounds, so most students choose to take the bus instead of walking to class. But hey, consider it exercise!

Residential Colleges

None of those options sound right for you?

Consider applying to live in one of UVa's three residential colleges: Brown College, Hereford College, or the International Residential College. Each has their own unique "vibe": Brown focuses on creativity/art, Hereford on sustainability and environment, and the IRC is a combination of both international and domestic students.

It's important to note that all residential colleges house 1st-4th year students, so you'll be living with students of all ages, majors, and backgrounds. This is a GREAT opportunity to make new friends and get some ~sage advice~ from older students!

No matter where you end up, your first-year dorm experience will be unlike anything else. It's a chance to live on your own, make some great friends, and have a great time - so take advantage of it!

First-Year Housing Options:

First-Year Housing Application:

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