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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UFL chapter.

The University of Florida (UF) has a plethora of housing options for incoming freshmen. Deciding which dorm to live in can be a challenge due to few online photos, numerous opinions, not being able to tour dorms and being unaware of what location would suit you best. This guide will help all incoming UF freshmen, who already have so much on their plate, learn about dorm life from the perspective of a UF student:

1. Location, Location, Location!!!

If you are interested in joining a sorority, do yourself a favor, and preference a dorm on the east side of campus. Dorms in this area include Beaty Towers, Jennings Hall, Broward Hall, Rawlings Hall, Yulee Hall, Mallory Hall, Reid Hall, Honors Village and Cypress Hall. These residence halls are a five to ten-minute walk to sorority row, where 17 of the 18 sororities are located. Being able to quickly walk to the house for meals during the day, a meeting or a study date with friends is ideal when students are so busy with rigorous schedules and numerous activities. It is also safer to live closer to sorority row when you leave the sorority house at night after dinner. Generally it is dangerous to walk alone at night, especially if it is a far distance (which goes for all college campuses).

If you are interested in joining a fraternity, picking a dorm closer to fraternity row might be more convenient. Keep in mind, these are just some suggestions: Springs Complex, Keys Complex, Trusler Hall, Graham Hall, Simpson Hall (if in Innovation Academy), Hume Commons, Tolbert Hall, North Hall, East Hall and Weaver Hall. While not all fraternities are in this area, 16 houses are – but it is not necessary to live on the west side of campus as there still are four other fraternities on the north and east sides of campus.

I would not necessarily choose a dorm because of a certain classroom building. Most of the time, my classes are in buildings that are supposed to be for other subjects. Your class schedule is likely to change, and classroom assignments can also change. Also, most freshmen are fulfilling general education requirements, which have classes all around campus.

2. Style

There are two main styles of dorms at UF: traditional and suite style. Most of the dorms are traditional, with communal bathrooms on each floor, but there are a handful of suite style dorms that have shared bathrooms and/or a common room.

The most popular traditional dorms are Broward Hall and Jennings Hall. Broward and Jennings are known for being very social, which makes sense since they house many students. These two dorms usually get chosen first and have low availability, so if youre interested, try to put this as your first preference as quickly as you can. They are nicer than most of the other dorms due to recent renovations and are conveniently located near the center of campus. Other popular traditional-style dorms are Mallory Hall, Yulee Hall and Reid Hall, which are in the Yulee Area, and they are all connected. While still old, these dorms were renovated around 2010, making them more comfortable than others. I lived in Mallory Hall last year. While it wasn’t always the cleanest, and there was mold (a few dorms have mold to some degree), the location was perfect for me. There are other traditional-style dorms on the west side of campus that are older and smaller, so are typically less desirable. 

The most popular suite-style dorms are Beaty Towers, Springs Complex and Infinity Hall. Beaty Towers is across the street from sorority row. While many freshmen live in this dorm, there are a good number of upperclassmen who call it home. There are two small bedrooms (each has two beds and two closets) with a small kitchen and a bathroom for four people to share. This dorm is ideal for those who think they will cook, only want to share a bathroom with three other people and don’t mind sleeping really close to their roommate. Springs Complex is near fraternity row. There are six separate buildings that house many students. There are double and single suites connected by a shared bathroom. It is a short walk away from the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Flavet Field, Stephen C. O’Connell Center and the Reitz Union. Infinity Hall is slightly farther away from the center of campus; it is in the Innovation Square. This is a newer dorm, and it has single, double and super (has a living room and private bathroom for each bedroom) suites. There’s a game room, private study rooms and a lounge to hang out in too. Infinity is a short walk to the Warrington College of Business, Library West and Marston’s Science Library.

3. Living Learning Communities

If living near people with similar interests and lived experiences is important to you, choosing a dorm with a Living Learning Community (LLC) would be a good idea. According to UF Housing and Residence Life, there is an Arts LLC (Reid Hall), Entrepreneurial LLC (Infinity Hall), Engineering LLC (East Hall), Pre-Health LLC (North Hall), Black Cultural LLC (Graham Hall), First Generation LLC (Thomas Hall), Honors Residential College LLC (Honors Village), International LLC (Weaver Hall), Lavender LLC (Springs Complex), Live in Motion LLC (Lakeside Residential Complex), Out of Stater Gator LLC (Broward Hall), Returning Gators LLC (Murphree Hall), ROTC LLC (Tolbert Hall), Social Justice and Civic Engagement LLC (Yulee Hall), Innovation Academy LLC (Simpson Hall) and the Promise Program LLC (Buckman and Thomas Hall). There are countless living-learning communities to choose from if you’re interested. Just because there is an LLC, doesn’t mean you can’t live there or that you must live there. LLCs are meant to create an inclusive environment within a dorm hall full of like-minded and passionate people, but they are not required.

The new Honors Residential College dorm is Honors Village. This dorm is located between Broward Hall, Yulee Area and Jennings Hall. It is mainly available for students in the Honors College, but there are some exceptions. This brand-new residence hall has traditional single and double rooms with communal bathrooms, and there are single and double suites with semi-private bathrooms. There are laundry rooms on each floor, classroom and study spaces, a meditation room, music practice rooms and a maker’s space.

4. To Avoid

I would personally avoid Rawlings Hall. While it has a great location right by the center of campus, is next to parking and a bus stop hub, and has a Subway attached, inside, it is not so great. This is a traditional style hall that is very, very, very old. Some people love how social it is, but many people joke about how disgusting the living situation truly can be at times. There are always rumors about the dorm being demolished.

5. My List

If I were a newly admitted freshman Gator interested in living on campus, I would pick Broward Hall, Jennings Hall or Mallory Hall. These are three traditional-style dorms near the heart of campus. They all offer something extra for students, such as a game room and piano in Broward; a game room, classroom and study lounge in Jennings; and a study room in Mallory. All these dorms are social and recently renovated.

I want the best for all hopeful members of the UF Class of 2028. I wish you all luck with navigating what is left of the college process. Remember, housing is important, but no matter where you live, you will make it work, and it will be okay. Remind yourself that finding housing is supposed to be exciting, not stressful. Most of the dorms are pretty similar, but knowing a little bit more about what you might prefer can’t hurt. Know that all your hard work has paid off, and you will end up right where you are supposed to be.

Hey everyone! I am Neenah Brown, a first-year English major at the University of Florida. I am so excited to be able to pursue my passion for journalism on the Her Campus UFL team! In my free time, I like to work out, play tennis, shop, spend time with friends, go to the beach and eat at Chick-Fil-A. I also love to watch crime documentaries on Netflix. After graduation, I plan on attending law school.