Moving in to your dorm can be a confusing and frightening experience, especially when the only information you have is that your new home has four floors and is named after some old guy you’ve never heard of. Here are some inside tips about freshman housing that you won’t find on the ResLife website.
Houston: It may not be the prettiest dorm on campus — the inside is somewhat reminiscent of a public bathroom — but don’t let Houston’s somewhat unsightly appearance get you down. One of the campus’ few all-freshman dorms, the uphill residence hall is notorious for being full of fun at all hours. Expect lots of excited students running around in costumes on Saturday nights and well-populated dorm “hall snacks.” Beware of bugs in the basement.
Hill: Since becoming completely healthy living, Hill has developed a reputation for being one of the more quiet dorms on campus — great for studying and late-night card games in the lounge, not so much for raucous dance parties. While it may be painful to walk to early morning classes downhill or visit friends in South Hall, Hill’s proximity to Boston Avenue restaurants and mail services offers other conveniences. And if you’re looking to get in shape, Tufts Student Resources offers an abundance of exercise classes in Hill Hall’s aerobics room.
Tilton: One of the newer dorms on campus, Tilton is probably the nicest all-freshman dorm. It’s located downhill, right next to both Hodgdon Good-to-Go and Dewick-Macphie dining hall, so students can be sure to get plenty to eat. The common rooms on every floor are in good condition, and the straight hallways make it easy to socialize and get to know your hall mates. It is without a doubt one of the most fun dorms to live in as a freshman, as long as you aren’t afraid of the hipsters that the residence hall is notoriously known to house.
Haskell: Haskell stands out from its downhill neighbors due to its suite style living. While students won’t experience the typical “hall” feeling that most dorms offer, suite bonding offers up a new fun social environment. One of the farthest downhill dorms, Haskell is only a short walk away from Davis Square but still isn’t too much of a trek to Dewick or the campus center. But you might want to think twice when signing up for that 8:30 a.m. language class in Olin. The early morning uphill climb may be ominous enough to deter you from attending class a little more often than you can get away with.
Bush: It may not be very glamorous, but Bush has some hidden gems. Its proximity to Dewick makes it ideal for using that unlimited meal plan to its fullest advantage. Nalgenes and Tupperware are a must for stocking your dorm room with snacks from the dining hall. While the individual floor common rooms are nothing special, the dorm lounge is one of the nicer ones on campus — complete with a pool table for those who are willing to provide their own ball and cues. Those living on the side of the building close to Dewick should invest in earplugs, as garbage trucks coming to pick up trash from the dining hall can make an annoying ruckus at 6 a.m.
Carmichael: Home to both freshmen and sophomores, Carmichael is one of the prettiest dorms when seen from the outside. With the beloved uphill dining hall just a short trip downstairs, residents don’t even have to walk outside to get some grub. But be careful, with everything you need inside the dorm, you may never leave. And beware of the freshman 15, as the combination of convenient location and an unlimited meal plan can be deadly.
Hodgdon: If you haven’t already heard about “trick-turning,” it won’t take long to realize that Hodgdon Hall is home to this age-old Tufts tradition. With Hodgdon Good-to-Go located right in the building, your dorm room will never be lacking in water bottles, sodas and pita chips galore. Not too far downhill, Hodgdon is an easy walk to most locations on campus. But it’s nowhere near the gym, so if you’re into working out, plan for some long walks.
Lewis Hall: Rumors suggest Lewis was built in the 70s to withstand riots. Practical, yes, but not great for your social life. This mixed dorm features a massive lobby that often plays host to various dance groups practicing for upcoming shows, a spacious lawn and the awesome Crafts Center in the basement. The location’s not bad — right across from Hodgdon, with its goods waiting to be trick-turned, and not too far from Dewick — but the aging facility and inconvenient floor plans make it one of the least desirable dorms on campus.
Miller Hall: Comfy furniture in its spacious common rooms and a remnant “brand-new-dorm smell” make Miller sought after among sophomores with good lottery numbers — who live in this sophomore-freshman dorm. With the newly redesigned REZquad Café serving fair-trade coffee in the Miller basement and a nifty side exit that practically puts you on Carmichael Dining Hall’s footstep, this dorm’s got a lot to offer. Add in “fishbowl” common rooms and a location right across from Olin Hall and the Academic Quad, and you’d be lucky to draw Miller for your freshman year.
Metcalf: Smack dab in the middle of campus, Metcalf is a perfect location for students who enjoy frequenting the library or campus center. Famous for late-night philosophy discussions and its bridge program, the dorm helps create a unique bond between students and professors. But it can also be a hindrance on your social life if you’re into a more rowdy party scene, so prepare to seek outside nightlife if that’s what you’re looking for.
Richardson: Richardson is the only all-female dorm on campus, so residents can rest easy knowing they aren’t going to have to deal with the scary smell of freshman boys who don’t know how to do their laundry yet. With a decent-sized kitchen and some of the nicer facilities on campus, Richardson is a great place to live as long as you don’t mind missing out on the coed living aspect of freshman housing. The location makes it easy to catch a Tufts Dance Collective show in Aidekman Arts Center or check out an event in the Sophia Gordon Hall Multipurpose Room.
South: South is home to students from just about every grade, so freshman living in the downhill residence hall are likely to get to know some upperclassman neighbors. The twisty hallways allow students looking to study in their rooms to do so without getting interrupted by residents shouting down the hallway. But as one of the larger dorms on campus, it’s still fairly good for socializing. The dorm’s single bathrooms allow for a bit more privacy than the average dorm, and students are only a quick walk away from Tufts’ playground — the Tot Lot — in case there is some late-night swinging to be done.