Freshman year I had the fortune of living in University Hall
. To this day, I’ll stay loyal to UHall. The memories I made as a result of living in the building will last a while.
My freshman housing experience was the foundation of the next three fantastic years at DePaul.
Life in UHall
was pretty active. Being surrounded by tons of other college students meant there was always something going on at home, always someone to talk to, always someone who wanted to do something with you, and yet there was always space to get away from the (good) commotion.
Life in UHall (for me) was all about building relationships. Looking back on freshman year, my main accomplishment was meeting the people that I today call my best friends. Life in UHall was about getting to know the people living around me.
Life in UHall was different than other residence halls. Sure, the culture of reach residence hall at DePaul is established by the very people that live in that hall. But, the floor plan of the hall has a lot to do with establishing that culture. The culture that I felt my freshman year was one of students who wanted to get involved and be active members of the DePaul community. Gradually through freshman year, peopling living on my floor and in the hall were getting neat opportunities that better connected them to DePaul. They were getting on campus jobs, positions in organizations, and were looking for more ways to enrich their college experience. That culture lead to today where I see the people I lived with freshman year and realize the amazing things they have done as a result of getting involved.
Life in UHall was something that I’ll never forget. I couldn’t be happier with my living experience, and I think a lot of it had to do simply with the attitude I went in with. One way to make the most of living in the halls as a freshman is about going out and meeting the people on your floor. It’s about sacrificing some privacy for that connection with other people.
I teared up a bit going through pictures for this post.
I'd like to think that I have a somewhat objective take on a few of the (mostly) freshman residence halls. I'll go ahead and say that I did live in U-Hall my freshman year and I'd go back to living in U-Hall 313 any day if I could, I still see value in the other freshman residence halls on campus. For the past two years I've been a Facilities Assistant for Housing Services for the West Side of campus. This has allowed me to spend a good amount of time in Cliffton-Fullerton, Belden-Racine, Munroe, and U-Hall. I also spent a good amount of time in Seton my freshman year because my closest friends lived in Seton.
It's no lie that each hall has a unique character, and the feel of each hall changes every year with a new group of residents. What I'm trying to say is that the people you live with make all the difference. All of the freshman residence halls on campus have pretty much the same amenities, and really who needs super nice amenities as a freshman in college. It's fun to have a time in your life where personal space is somewhat limited and you have the chance to live around so many other people. My favorite part of living on campus was coming home to a building where I knew without a doubt that something fun was going on.
Here's a little thought about each resident hall that I can talk about confidently:
Munroe: The rooms are pretty close together which is awesome because people are social and I always see a lot of people in the lounges. If you're down to sacrifice some personal space for a really great experience I'd say go for it. The 6th floor (east side) has crazy cool views of the city. I highly doubt you can request that though.
U-Hall: Like I said, without a doubt, U-Hall is the place to be. Each floor is somewhat separated in to a north and south wing, with about 20 rooms on both side (2 people per room). The bathrooms are nice (you share with three ther people), as long as you don't mind cleaning your own bathroom. You'll have to clean your own bathroom unless you live in Seton or Corcoran. Cleaning the bathroom sucked so much that we just didn't do it.
Cliffton: It's one of the newer halls, and it's a little more spacious. It's got some of the best study lounges and views of the city. I've probably spent the least time in Cliffon so I don't have a ton of advice about Cliffton. I will say that when I've seen the largest TVs of any halls (the TVs that residents bring) in Cliffton.
Belden- Racine: It's really close to the new theater school, which means there are a good amount of theater students living there. So yeah. But really, my freshman year crush lived in Belden and she had a real cozy space. Maybe it was her decoration, but it was nice. Also, she had a really nice big desk. Bigger than the desks in U-Hall for sure. Cliffton has nice big desks too, again because it's one of the newer halls.
Seton: Anyone that has ever lived in Seton will probably tell you it's the best hall on campus, but so will anyone who has ever lived in U-Hall. Seriously thought Seton is cool. It's one of the closest freshman halls to the "L" (so is Corcoran). It's also about to be right across from a Whole Foods (in 2015). Seton is community style which means it's somewhat more social than some of the suite style halls. My good friends that lived in Seton freshman year spent on average one hour every night in the bathrooms brushing their teeth and such. It's a cool place to be. Also the ceiling are the tallest you will get as a freshman and the closet space takes the #1 on campus.
I had some of the greatest moments of college in the residence halls. So, whether you get in to your first choice hall or not, I hope you'll realize that it doesn't matter all that much. What matters is that you explore the hall outside of your room and get to know the people you live with. Get to know them real well because they might end up being some of your best college friends.