Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Choosing Your Freshman Year Neighborhood

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.


If you’re lucky, you’re one of the incoming freshmen who gets a good selection of MSU dorms to pick from, and you’re probably interested in doing some research to find out which one is the best for you. Look no further, because we’ve got you covered.


North Neighborhood 


West Circle Drive


Pros include:

  • Beautiful architecture and scenery (has been compared to Hogwarts)

  • Fantastic food with Landon Dining

  • Proximal distance from Union (lots of events and club meetings held here, Late Night Dining included in meal plan every night from 8 p.m. to midnight)

  • 10 minute walk to Brody (where you can find one of the best dining halls in the nation)

  • Fairly equal distance to all classes (most are around a 15-20 minute walk)

  • Right along Grand River Avenue (don’t need to take the bus to go to a restaurant or pick up a prescription)

  • Get to wake up to the sound of our amazing marching band practicing on game days!


Cons include:

  • Not very renovated (a little dingier on the inside, but liveable)

  • No student parking (for those with cars as freshmen)


Snyder-Phillips and Mason-Abbott


Pros include:

  • Close to many academic buildings (Business College Complex, Psychology Building, Bessey Hall, and others)

  • One of the best cafeterias on campus (really good dessert options)

  • Also close to Grand River Avenue

  • Also has beautiful architecture


Cons include:

  • Smallest rooms on campus

  • Located right across the street from some of the frat houses and Cedar Village apartments (unless, maybe you like that)


Brody Neighborhood


Pros include:

  • Biggest non-military cafeteria in the country (meaning huge selection of food)

  • Newly renovated

  • Biggest rooms on campus

  • Study areas galore

  • Plenty of student parking

  • Proximal distance from sports facilities

  • Easy transportation

  • Has a good Sparty’s


Cons include:

  • Really far walk from most academic buildings (about a 15-minute walk to nearest academic building, about a 45-minute walk to furthest academic building)


River Trail Neighborhood


Pros include:

  • Optimal distance from classes

  • Center of campus

  • Nice view of the Red Cedar River


Cons include:

  • Food isn’t great (I’m looking at you Shaw)

  • No good places to study

  • None of the dorms included in the neighborhood are really by each other

  • Altogether mediocre place


East Neighborhood


Pros include:

  • Lots of other freshmen to keep you company

  • Lyman Briggs

  • Akers Hall has breakfast until 2 p.m. every single day

  • Has a good Sparty’s


Cons include:

  • Kind of hideous (hasn’t been renovated since the 80s most likely, and you can tell)

  • Distance to classes is atrocious (just like Brody)

  • Suite-style bathrooms, meaning you can look forward to cleaning up after all of your roommate’s crap (literally)


South Neighborhood


Pros include:

  • Optimal distance to sporting facilities

  • Good food at Case and Holden


Cons include:

  • Basically in the middle of nowhere (was apparently called the Tundra in the 90s)

  • Kind of hideous (probably also hasn’t been renovated in a while)

  • Right by the smokestacks, which remind you that you’re in the middle of nowhere

  • Live right by the train tracks

  • Not very close to classes

  • Suite-style bathrooms


Well, friends, I hope this has helped you in your quest to pick a neighborhood for this upcoming fall semester! Good luck, and go green!

Bekkah Baldwin is a sophomore at Michigan State University and is still undeclared but thinking about majoring in Neuroscience or Psychology with a minor in German. She loves to write, loves her school, and loves the idea of giving young women an outlet for their voices to be heard. So HerCampus seemed like the perfect place for her. When she's not busy studying, she enjoys being the goofy person she is with her friends and watching Netflix (because who doesn't). Her favorite shows include Friends, Gilmore Girls, Parks and Rec and One Tree Hill. Reading is another hobby, as is writing the occasional FanFiction for some of her favorite 80s movies. During summer breaks she works at the movie theatre in her hometown, one of her favorite places in the world and finds herself eating popcorn and drinking slushies all day. She works as a tour guide at MSU and has never stopped being excited about having the opportunity to show off her awesome school. She's 50% German and tends to visit family in Europe once a year. She wants to study abroad for sure and travel the world long after her college days are over. College was a wonderful transition, a place where she instantly felt she belonged and found her best friends, and she can't wait to see what this year as part of the HerCampus team will bring. Go Green!
Feminist | Editor | Lesbian