I’m a nomad. I can’t settle down. Possessed of wanderlust.
Okay, I’m being dramatic. But I have lived in multiple places while at RIT.
My first year, I lived in the residence halls. All first years who live more than 30 miles out from the campus must live there. I specifically was in Mark Ellingson hall, in a quad. That meant I was living with deaf and hard of hearing students. It’s amazing, being immersed in a completely different culture.
Living in the residence halls has its advantages and disadvantages. It’s nice having a ton of people around you that you can easily socialize with. But at the same time, you have to compete with these folks for laundry room space. (The best solution to that, I found, was to do your laundry at 3AM.) It’s also relatively far away from the academic side of campus, so you sort of have to “commute” to the other side and stay there, otherwise you’re wasting a lot of time just walking back and forth.
My second year, I moved in to University Commons. I still had 3 other roommates, but we all had our own rooms! Suh-weet! And only sharing a bathroom with one other person meant cleaning was easier, as well as those mornings where you fail to coordinate, and you’re competing for the shower.
But oh man, was having a kitchen and sizeable fridge nice! Being able to make a nice healthy breakfast for myself was excellent (read: making as much bacon as I want). It was also nice having the privacy of my own room (read: being able to keep it as messy as I want). It was also nice having our own washer and dryer (read: leaving clothes in there without feeling bad about it).
Although it was closer, it was still pretty annoying to walk back between classes. It just took too long! Maybe I’m a slow walker?
Either way, it was not meant to be. Finally, this year, I moved in to a Riverknoll apartment. It was quite the change compared to everywhere else I’d been! It was unfurnished, and was two floors (a townhouse style apartment). But it was that much closer to campus! Finally, my optimal walking distance! I could go home for lunch! Yes, I had to share a room again. Yes, I had to buy a futon. Yes, I have to share a laundry room again. But my roommate and I are rarely in the room at the same time, affording each other space. The futon was relatively cheap, yet comfortable. And the laundry room is rarely backlogged.
Overall, picking the optimal place to live is all about what you value. If you just want a place to sleep and perhaps go to in between classes, then one should pick an apartment close to academic side. If you want privacy and a large common area, then pick an apartment where everyone has their own room. But in the end, the people who you’re living with can make or break an apartment. Luckily, RIT makes it easy for you to join your friends in their apartment if they have a spot open.
Home is where the heart is. When it comes down to it, if that’s what you value, then you should pick an apartment in your chest.