Pros and Cons to Living at Orchard Hill

Those of us that live in Orchard Hill know the daily trek up the hill too well, and the ones who don't live there think they can sympathize because of their sporadic visits. Orchard Hill is one of the residential areas on campus with only four buildings and as the name implies, it is located on a hill. Here are some pros and cons associated with the fabled hill: 

Pro: Leg and Booty Workouts (whether you want them or not)

There’s really no way to not get a great workout walking up Orchard Hill. The intense incline and never-ending route is certainly not always ideal, but it does it pay off. On average, we walk up and down the hill at least two or three times a day, which is definitely a calorie-burning endeavor. Runners take advantage of the hill and choose to incorporate it into their workout but us residents have to incorporate the incline into our daily lives. Let’s just say that nobody on Orchard Hill skips leg day. 

Pro: Community

The Orchard Hill Residential Area only has four residential halls. Also, it is isolated from rest of campus, so the community on the hill becomes tight-knit. The friends you make on the hill are usually the ones you spend most of your time with and because there is a smaller number of people in the area, you create some very close friendships. At Orchard Hill I’ve met some of the most interesting, kind, and understanding people that have really helped my transition to college. I can confidently say the people on the hill are some of the best on campus!

Pro: Living Spaces

The rooms on Orchard Hill are bigger than the average dorm on campus. Because there are so many buildings on other areas of campus and so many people that want to live there, their rooms are smaller. Orchard Hill has fairly spacious rooms with wide windows and bigger closets. Additonally, it is relatively quiet and calm, so noise won't be an issue. The observatory, the highest point on campus, is also located on the hill. If you want a spot to stargaze away from the light pollution of Southwest, this is it! 

GORGEOUS!

Con: No Easy Way Up

There is no “easy” way to climb the hill. The route from Worcester seems to meander forever up the hill. The gradual incline kills you as you keep walking, hoping to reach the blue light stand which means you have made it and only a short flat trail lies ahead of you. Another route is located right behind UHS, which seems quick and easy but is more a long the lines of "quick but deadly". The stairs themselves are not particularly a challenge, but the small incline you have left after your second set of stairs (O-Hill residents know exactly what I am talking about). The route from Frank looks deceivingly short, but you will soon realize your mistake when you’re out of breath and have barely made it halfway.

 

Con: Non O-Hill Friends NEVER See Your Room

“It’s further than UHS?! Is that even on campus?” my friend from Southwest exclaimed when I told her where I lived. I promise, I have a really cool room, our buildings are pretty awesome, and I would love for you to check them out. However, it takes some quite determined friends to make the hike up just to visit. We are pretty isolated from campus, which means when we Orchard Hill kids have to meet up with friends it's usually during the day for a meal or something because it is far away. 

Con: Distance

Like I have said numerous times, Orchard Hill is pretty far from everything. Every class is at least a ten-minute walk so planning ahead really comes in handy. Late night walks up the hill at 2 or 3 AM after going out on the weekends are a struggle of their own. Late Night at Berk is a rare delicacy because it is a 20-minute walk away, which is usually too far. The recreation center is also a good 15 minutes away, meaning our workout is really a post-workout from walking to the gym!

Orchard Hill has its pros and cons but I have not regretted living there for one second. It is a very open community with welcoming people and I have made the best of friends there. Not to forget, Sweets 'n' More is up on the hill, and I would encourage everyone to check them out! Non O-Hill residents, I would also encourage all of you to visit us because life is better at the top!

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