Honestly, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a residence hall in Pittsburgh that doesn’t have something wrong with it. The University of Pittsburgh is an old school–I’m talking over 200 years old. That doesn’t mean our school is devoid of character, though! Depending on what you’re looking for, there is a great residence hall for you. That being said, here’s my take on the freshman dorms at Pitt!
1. Nordenberg Hall
Everyone I know who lived there loved it. It makes sense that they would. This is the newest hall at Pitt and it definitely shows– the place even smells new. There are 8 floors, and each floor is divided into a boy’s and girl’s wing. There are lounges on each wing and laundry rooms on each floor.
- You get a free fridge, microwave, and TV for your room
- Indoor bike lockers
- Fitness center
- The Health and Wellness/Counseling centers are in the same building
- Music rooms
- A huge patio
- Air conditioned
- It’s on fifth avenue, which means you’re going to hear cars and busses ALL THE TIME
- Rooms are small
- Communal bathrooms
- For some reason, some idiot always pulls the fire alarm
- The elevators aren’t as nice as many other buildings
2. Sutherland Hall
I moved halls mid-semester and Sutherland became my new home. I loved everything about Sutherland Hall. If Sophomores were allowed to live there, I’d stay. EVERYTHING IS NEW.
- The lounge when you walk in is INCREDIBLE
- There’s a gym on the first floor
- There are laundry rooms
- Quickzone AND a Starbucks stand in the main lobby
- Dining hall in the same building
- Really new and nice elevators
- Suite-style rooms
- Two lounges on each floor
- Computer lab in main lobby area
- mail center
- Location makes it less noisy and more home-like
- Sometimes the washer/dryers wouldn’t work
- It takes 10-20 mins to walk to main campus (take Chevron steps if you’re running late!)
- If you’re in Sutherland West, you’ll have to deal with athletes next door
- If you’re in Sutherland East, you’ll have to deal with the smartest kids in school next door
- There are less options for food, and tapingo is more expensive
- Upper campus can feel isolated if you are a city person
3. Litchfield Towers
Apparently they aren’t as bad as some may think. I don’t know much about this place. At first, everyone is mad that they didn’t get put in a nicer hall. Then, as the year goes on, EVERYONE LOVES TOWERS. I don’t know why, and I never asked.
- Smack in the middle of campus
- Market central and Market-to-go are in the basement
- Starbucks stand in the main lobby
- Panther central in the main lobby
- Study room in the main lobby
- Seems like kids make a lot of friends by the end of the year
- Air Conditioning
- Laundry shared with 2 other huge buildings
- Communal restrooms/showers
- Small rooms
- Elevators don’t go to every floor
- Moving in/out is a nightmare
- The lobby is always busy
- Market doesn’t have edible food…
- Really old buildings. I’m pretty sure my mom lived in Towers if that tells you anything.
4. Holland Hall
SO. MUCH. DRAMA. That’s all I ever heard about. Girls cat fighting, lack of air conditioning, yadayada… Apparently it got so bad this past year, they decided to make it co-ed from now on. I think that’s a good move. Especially after hearing about some of the things that transpired there. Pros and Cons are pointless because I don’t know enough about the building, and they’re completely changing the living arrangements for new incoming students. I hope 2017-18 Holland Hall is better than the Holland of previous years.
5. Forbes Hall
I lived here for 2 months before leaving. At first it was great. The rooms are significantly larger than other halls, there are more lounges, and there is a laundry room on every floor. I didn’t have a good experience there because it’s an LLC and I changed majors, so I didn’t fit in with the others. All I can say is, be cautious when selecting an LLC, because words can’t describe how painful and isolating it feels to be the odd one out if you live in one.
The living arrangements don’t really matter. What matters are the friends you make, experiences you have, and classes you attend. Don’t sell a place short because of what people tell you about it. Many of my friends loved living in halls that were considered out of date. You never know how you’ll react to a situation until you’re living it. So live in the moment, don’t fret over a dorm room, and make awesome memories during your freshman year. It goes by quickly, but its definitely an eye-opening year, no matter where you live.
This is my take on the ultimate ranking of freshman dorms at Pitt! Share your thoughts or experiences in the comments below!
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I'm a Biological Sciences major at Pitt. I see/hear funny things and write about them.