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The Housing Guide They Don’t Give You at MSU

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

It’s almost that time of year again.

The window to choose your housing for next year is fast approaching for current MSU students. I know when I was a freshman, I had virtually no idea of where I wanted to live other than what names of dorms sounded cool or what buildings looked the prettiest. Even now, as a freshman debating where I want to move to next year, I’m still weighing the pros and cons of each neighborhood. 

Because I’m so indecisive (as I’m sure most of us are), I thought I’d give my personal opinions on each neighborhood at MSU. I hope this can be at least somewhat helpful to fellow Spartans or incoming freshmen who have no idea what Brody is and why it isn’t just called West. Seriously though, why is it Brody and not West– I still don’t understand.

East Neighborhood

East is basically a classic freshman moment, no offense to any non-freshmen who live in East, and also my prayers go out to you.

When I think of East, I think of Akers. Akers is the only quad-style dorm on campus (four people, one almost apartment-looking room) and I would say it houses a majority of freshmen. Akers was also known to be pretty rowdy and crazy during the first couple of months of the school year. There were constantly fire trucks pulling up outside, a washing machine burned someone’s clothes or something, and just generally I feel like there’s always a lot going on over there. If that’s what you’re into, more power to you. But I can’t promise it will be the quietest dorm experience. 

Of course, there are other dorms in East, but in my mind they all kind of merge into one big blob. East is actually the one area of campus that I haven’t fully been to because once you get past Akers it’s just like… why even bother.

In general, East is kind of far from the main happenings on campus, the buildings are kind of an eyesore (and I hear the top floors of Hubbard sway if there’s too much wind), and I once heard some girl cry because she was put in Holmes.

So live in East. If you dare!

River Trail Neighborhood

River Trail isn’t bad. I think there are definitely some more unique housing options within this neighborhood and more accommodations. For example, Van Hoosen is only for second-year women, and it’s apartment-style. Owen has the allergy-friendly dining hall (with the wackest hours ever, I might add) and all of the rooms are singles. Shaw is community-style, but has a great location, right in the center of campus basically, and McDonel is suite-style. So lots of variation.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know a ton about this neighborhood and I have a pretty neutral opinion on it, so do with that what you will.

But I did hear the food at Shaw is sometimes rancid. So…

Brody Neighborhood

Brody. Brody. Brody.

I love you and I hate you.

Being the newest dorm on campus, Brody has some of the biggest and nicest rooms at MSU. They have a huge dining hall with tons of options in Brody Square (which includes the most delicious tacos, in my humble opinion). However. Brody is so far removed from reality, it’s insane. This neighborhood is basically a bus ride away from anything important on campus (aside from 1855 Place and to that, I’m very jealous). The number one complaint with Brody is that it’s just so far. 

Live here if you like to walk. A lot. Like a lot, a lot.

South Neighborhood

You know, I actually was about to move here for sophomore year, but had a last-minute change of heart.

South is basically the only place to find suite-style rooms (besides McDonel) and I really wanted my own bathroom which was the driving force behind picking South. However, the bathrooms are really not that important, in my opinion (and I know a lot of people will disagree). South is just so far from Grand River and the Union and some of my favorite places on campus, so personally, it became a no for me, but I do totally understand why people would want to live here.

Unfortunately, it is really ugly.

South also has a lot of LLCs, making it harder for people who aren’t engineers, athletes, or poly sci majors to get in. But there’s always Holden! Open to everyone and is basically in West Lansing. That place is crazy far off the map. Although now that I’m writing this, it appears that a lot of dorms are crazy far. But I seriously don’t want to live in Holden.

North Neighborhood

And last, but not least, we have my pride and joy: North Neighborhood.

North is the moment.

And I know she can be smelly. I know she can be small. But through it all, she is beautiful and her location is just *chef’s kiss.*

North actually kind of has two sections (which they don’t tell you about). There’s one section called West Circle and it has most of the North dorms. It’s right next to the Union and on the more west side of campus. All the way at the most northeastern corner of campus, we have the rest of North: Snyder-Phillips and Mason-Abbot. So don’t be thinking if you get into Snyder, you’ll be right by Beaumont Tower because that’s a solid 15.

West Circle is now the dream for next year and even though it’s community, the location and architecture are just hard to beat.

North, I love you. Please sponsor me.

To wrap up…

My parting wisdom to you in your neighborhood picking endeavors is to figure out what factors are most important to you. Yeah Brody might have nice rooms, but do you really want to be waking up an extra 30 minutes early just to make it to class? (An exaggeration, but still). 

Choose what will be best for you. And make the most of wherever you end up.

I promise, you can survive community bathrooms.

Lauren is a Freshman at Michigan State majoring in Journalism and minoring in Broadcast and Business. She's had a passion for writing since she was little and is thrilled to have the opportunity to write for Her Campus MSU. You can reach her by email through coinlaur@msu.edu.