Dorm Life: Freshman vs. Upperclassman

So, I wrote a post about my experience in a single dorm here and an update here, but today, I want to focus on a broader topic related to dorms: the difference between freshmen and upperclassmen dorms.


For the purpose of this post, I will be comparing the typical freshman dorm where, in most cases, freshman are required to live to the same type of dorm that upperclassmen can choose to live in. I will not be comparing on campus apartment style rooms, just your normal community type of floor. Also, I should say that I have never personally lived in a freshman dorm. I went to a community college for my first two years of college.

Difference #1: Freshmen must live there, upperclassmen have a choice.
At least in my state, quite a few colleges require that all freshmen live on campus unless they are considered non-traditional (they are older, are married, or have a kid) or they live close to campus already. If you are an upperclassman, you probably won’t have to live on campus, but if you choose to, you will be around other like-minded people. Dorms have restrictions that some people cannot deal with, but you know they are there. If you choose to live in the dorms, you are choosing to abide by your college’s rules no regulations. Freshmen have no choice.
Difference #2: Upperclassmen dorms are more “chill” than freshmen dorms.
Going back to the fact that freshmen have to live on campus and upperclassmen don’t, the upperclassmen who do choose to live on campus are probably not the biggest partiers or drinkers or anything else that a dorm may frown upon. The people who choose to live on campus probably care a lot about their education. I know that for me, I chose to live on campus so that could eliminate the time I would otherwise spend commuting or doing things to care for my apartment instead of studying or practicing my instruments. I have heard that the freshmen dorms at my school have a lot of incidents that go down compared to an average of less than one a day (from what I have heard-somethings are probably confidential).
Difference #3: Upperclassmen dorms may not be as social.
Since most of the upperclassmen who live on campus probably chose to live there to help them focus on school, you might have a harder time making friends. I have been pretty lucky and have made a great group of friends with people who (for the most part) live right down the hall! This is not always case, though. The students are no longer freshmen, so that probably already have a set group of friends that they hang out with. That’s nothing against you, but there is definitely a difference in how social it is.
Difference #4: People actually follow quiet hours (mostly).
At my school, quiet hours go from 10pm-10am. This gives people a chance to study, sleep, or just relax without having a ton of craziness going on. If you have an 8 o’clock class that you just can’t avoid, quiet hours are there to make sure that you get some quiet time to sleep. If your classes are later in the day, quiet hours can give you some good study time without the need to go to the library and you can sleep in a little bit. Now, there are some people who don’t always follow the rules. For me, it seems like these people just aren’t aware of how loud they are, so just ask them to quiet down. Also, most of the people who are being loud in my dorm are international students. They may be from a country with a very big night scene, so they are not used to being quiet. But, you don’t have the all night ravers that you might hear in a freshman dorm.
Difference #5: You tell me!
Have you lived in both an freshman dorm and upperclassmen dorm? Are there any differences I missed? Let me know in the comments or tweet me at @HannahHaefele!
Thanks for reading!

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