Your Comprehensive Guide to Freshman Housing at BU

Before coming to BU, I remember being incredibly confused about housing. I had a vague idea that there was a huge, three-towered building in the middle of campus where all the freshmen lived, but that was pretty much all I knew. My roommate and I went back and forth trying to decide if we should live in Warren or West. All the while my mom secretly wished I’d end up in Kilachand just so the honors college might rub off on me a little. If you’re a future freshman and were just as confused as I was, hopefully, my guide can help you out a little.

Where you’ll probably end up:

Warren Towers:

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In case you somehow have less of a clue about housing than I did, Warren is that giant three-towered building. It’s convenient (right by most of the classes, especially if you’re in CAS), social, and it looks like a prison. It’s the biggest dorm on campus, so you probably have the greatest chance of ending up there during your freshman year. It has its own dining hall, though it's admittedly not the best (but at least they have a good range of ice cream toppings!). They also seem to be the only dining hall that plays music. Whether that seems annoying or fun might provide insight into whether you’d want to live there. Warren is generally seen as less of the “party” dorm and is a little less convenient for "Allston crawling," but that isn’t always true. Personally, a lot of the people I go to parties with happen to live in Warren. If you’re not in CGS, an athlete or even a gym rat, it just might be the place for you. If you are (or you just hate escalators), you might be more interested in the next option. Trust me, you don’t want to be in Warren if you hate escalators.

West Campus:

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Walk down Comm Ave away from the Citgo sign for about fifteen minutes and you get to West. West is where the majority of the other freshmen live (including me). Made up of three identical buildings (Claflin, Sleeper and Rich Hall), it’s home to most of the athletes, partiers (near Allston!) and CGS/CFA students. A lot of people like it for its more campus-esque feel. You basically have a 50/50 chance of getting a scenic view of Nickerson Field and StuVi, or the much less scenic Comm Ave. I’m in CAS and it takes a while to get to my classes, but exercise isn’t always a bad thing. However, West has no common rooms for each floor, so if you’re on the shy side it might not be the right place for you. The dining hall is generally viewed as more appealing than the Warren one, but if you live in Rich, you’re going to have to go outside to get to it. There’s still a 66.6% chance you won’t end up in Rich, so taking chances isn’t always the worst thing in the world (no hate on Rich, by the way!).

The Towers:

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If you’re looking for something a little smaller, a little more relaxed, perhaps with single-sex floors, The Towers might be for you. Although honestly, I don’t many people who sought out living here, the people I do know here seem to have the closest floor friendships out of anyone I know. I don’t know a ton about The Towers since I’ve only met a few people living there, but it seems like Warren and West’s mysterious cousin. It’s on a quieter street than Warren, still pretty close to most of the classes, and closer to East Campus and downtown Boston (hello new ramen bar at Bay State Underground!). If you want more of a city feel while still being in a freshman dorm, this is your kind of place. However, if you want a dining hall inside the building and to have greater than a 10% chance of being in the same dorm with people you meet, than you might want to look elsewhere.

Other places you could end up (for better or worse):

The Brownstones:

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AKA, the only housing option my dad asked about on our tour, even though somehow there were only four other people in my tour group. You’ll be living in a gorgeous building with a kitchen and lots of space without having to worry about getting an apartment. One of the only downsides is that I’ve heard it can be hard to make friends there since there aren’t many other freshmen. If you have a random roommate, it could even be a senior. Anyway, it’s unlikely you’ll end up there even if it’s your first choice, but hey, worth a shot if it's your cup of tea. 

Myles Standish:

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Everyone’s going to be jealous of you if you live here freshman year. Whether you want a kitchen, air conditioning, or you just love the Citgo sign, it’s the perfect place to live. Put it first on your list and pray for if you still want more of a dorm feel than the brownstones. On the negative side, the rooms are all in suites which makes it a bit more expensive. Also, again, fewer freshmen live here. You’ll have to walk to the dining hall, but at least Bay State is one of the better dining halls.

Kilachand:

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Kilachand is where all the honors college kids live. I assume if you’re going to be in the honors college you probably don’t need this, but it is possible to live in Kilachand and not be in the honors college, which I’ve heard very mixed things about. Since you’re in the minority, it can be hard to meet people in your situation, but at least there are plenty of freshmen (in the honors college). With air conditioning, private bathrooms, and a study lounge, the facilities rival Myles. The security guards are a lot more friendly (the one time I was there waiting in the lobby, one of them said I looked like a “lost puppy.”) and the “common room” looks like more of a ballroom to me, so it doesn’t seem like a bad place. But seriously, 90% of the other current freshmen I’ve met live in Warren or West.

I hoped this helped you figure out where you might want to live, or if not at least learn about some of the different dorms. Good luck at BU, future terriers!

 

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