10 Reasons to Consider On-Campus Housing at UF

Even though UF doesn’t require anyone to live on campus, about 80 percent of freshmen choose to live in the dorms. However, by sophomore year, most are scrambling to find the best apartment off campus. Some students struggle with an RA they dislike, or they spot roaches or mold in some of the older halls and decide that they want out. A few may end up with some even crazier stories. What’s worse: Being locked out without pants until 4 a.m., or having your room flooded because someone hit a sprinkler with a baseball? Sometimes, you won’t even have to choose.

The good news is that incidents like those aren’t the norm. In fact, they’re not even exclusive to on-campus housing — I’ve heard of some pretty scary stuff occurring off campus, too. (Click the following links at your own risk, and don’t say I didn’t warn you.) Of course, not all of the campus halls are that great either, and I can’t blame anyone for not wanting to share a bedroom after their first year. But when looking at housing options, I think all students should think twice before looking down on dorm life as a whole.

Dorms aren’t just for freshmen. At UF, about a third of on-campus residents are returning residents! After considering some of these perks, it’s no wonder they chose to stick around.

1. With single, two-room, suite and apartment style rooms available, there are options for everyone — not every dorm is the stereotypical double!

Cypress Hall and Keys Complex even offer full-size beds.

2. Utilities are fully included, and the maintenance staff is amazing.

When something is broken, you can simply submit an iService request and they’ll be right on it — for free. No worries about paying to fix a broken AC or for pest control. And you won’t even have to clean your own bathroom!

3. You’ll never be stuck begging someone to sublease.

Have you ever seen your friends spamming Facebook groups in the hopes of finding someone to take over the rest of their lease? You don’t have to be that friend. And on top of that, imagine deciding on a whim to study abroad or take an internship without the weight of a housing contract behind you — UF will allow you to cancel at no charge!

4. Almost all of the important things in your life will be within walking distance.

You can practically roll out of bed and make it to classes within minutes. Midtown is across the street if you want to grab lunch or make a Dunkin’ run. The libraries and gyms are just around the corner. And if you needed to go anywhere else, you’ll always be surrounded by a ton of RTS bus routes.

5. Want to take a nap between classes? You’ll always be right by your bed.

You attend class on campus. Your bed is on campus. Enough said. Want a quick snack? Accidentally left something in your room? Swing by whenever you need.

6. You’ll be in the middle of the action during football season.

Walk over to fraternity row and tailgate with your friends without worrying about how you’re going to get there — or back. Didn’t get season tickets? If you live in Murphree, you’ll be able to hear the game from your window. And the stadium is open year-round if you ever want a good workout or feel like switching up your usual study spot.

7. That great parking spot? It’s yours.

If you have 50 or more credit hours before the start of fall semester and live on campus, you’ll be eligible for a Red 1 decal. You probably won’t need to drive to most of your classes, but it’ll come in handy when running errands or stuck on a rainy day. And given #4 above, you’ll rarely have to bother with the campus parking Hunger Games to begin with. It’s a win-win scenario.

8. Security, security, security.

In order to enter most rooms, you need both a key and an electronic fob. The fob is used to enter front entrances, stairwells and some other areas such as laundry rooms. In some halls, you’ll have as many as two or three layers of protection against sketchy intruders. Since most rooms aren’t on ground level to begin with, it’s difficult for someone to break into a window while you’re away. Additionally, UF will always have your back when it comes to safety. Rooms can be switched for medical reasons. You can also be swapped around if your roommates give you any serious issues. Parking decals are required 24/7 in areas that sit on the border of campus (like Murphree) as an extra precaution.

9. Storms aren’t a big deal.

Everyone knows that Florida is notorious for its hurricanes. Luckily, UF has a detailed emergency plan, complete with backup generators. Your off-campus friends will lose power in their apartments long before you ever will! Also, the dorms were designed with heavy winds in mind, which is why some of them have been standing since the early 1900s (don’t worry, they’ve been renovated). And in an extreme emergency, UF Housing will work to provide everyone with food and water as needed. In contrast, most off-campus places will leave you to fend for yourself.

10. The on-campus community is unparalleled.

Most of the RAs are wonderful, and they’re great to turn to if you need any support. The Inter-Residence Hall Association hosts fun events, and there are plenty of opportunities for leadership through your area government council. If you’re ever feeling alone, communal kitchens and laundry rooms are nice places to make new friends. Despite the occasional horror story, UF Housing has a generally welcoming community, and I’m thankful to be a part of it.

There is no such thing as the perfect college living situation. Sometimes I long for my own private kitchen, or wish I didn’t have to defrost my mini fridge during winter breaks. But whenever I’m feeling a little inconvenienced, I remember some of the positives of dorm life — and block out all those Facebook sublease notifications with a peace of mind.


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