When I opened my housing assignment over the summer and I found out I would be living in Pollock, I was told by all my friends that my life was officially over. That I would be melting in an unrenovated room with disgusting bathrooms and rats scurrying around all night. In my head, East Renovated, the most popular residential area for PSU freshmen, was a perfect oasis, and Pollock would be this dark cloud that would hang over my freshman year.
After living on campus for officially one month, I can say that, yes, those unrenovated rooms do get very hot in 85+ degree weather. However, I have grown to love this underappreciated part of Penn State, and I don’t want incoming freshmen to continue to fear Pollock like I did. So I’m here to set the record straight and assure everyone who opens their eLiving portal and sees Pollock that they’re actually in for a great time.
The people in charge of posting dorm pictures for the Penn State website have done a terrible job of showcasing the rooms in Pollock. The photos make it seem like new students are being sent to an actual prison, with metal beds and a cramped closet-sized room. I will admit, walking into that empty room on move-in day was frightening. But the most exciting part about dorm rooms is the ability to make them your own. My roommate and I coordinated with matching comforters and similar color schemes, and now we look forward to coming home. The built-ins also offer a ton of storage, especially the closets, which are massive (but that has just inspired me to buy more clothes, so it’s definitely not an issue for me).
If there is one thing that Pollock has that East doesn’t, it’s location. Pollock is almost right in the middle of campus, making any hike to class significantly less horrible. It is only a short walk away from the Hub, and it’s right below Pollock Road, which serves as a central road for many academic buildings on campus. Pollock is close to both their own Pollock Commons, as well as Redifer Commons, allowing for more options when you get sick of one dining hall’s food. On top of that, Pollock is only a few minutes away from many downtown staples, including McLanahans’s and The Student Bookstore, making it convenient to stop by and pick up any essentials, whether it be groceries or more Penn State gear.
You don’t need to live in Pollock to know that the Pollock Commons is definitely one of the best on-campus. The dining hall, which takes up the entire second floor, always has a ton of options, including pizza, fresh fruit, and a salad bar. But the true star of the show is the market. It is absolutely huge and almost feels like a convenience store in size. There is everything you could ever want, from cleaning supplies to frozen foods to chips and every kind of drink imaginable. Since Pollock Commons is also shared with Nittany Apartments, there is also a wider selection of choices, giving it a leg up over other commons’ markets. When it’s stocked, there is nothing you can’t find here.
This one might not be the case for everyone, but I have truly met some of the greatest people here at Pollock. I came to Penn State not knowing many people, and I have created strong relationships with the girls on my floor. People will leave their doors open or unlocked, and it’s fun to have people stop by and want to hang out. Although many of our relationships formed through complaining about the heat or the bathrooms, we now are able to enjoy everything Pollock has to offer, whether it’s the cooling rooms in the lobby or the recreation room in the Commons. When the foundations of friendships are made when you are sweaty and gross, you know it’s a friendship that is bound to last!
In conclusion, there is no reason to be afraid of Pollock, just because it’s unrenovated and not as fancy as the other residence halls. Instead, we should try to not put so much weight on where we live, and instead, on the experiences the school year will bring.