Two things are true about Michigan State University. One: The campus is absolutely gorgeous during every season. Two: The campus is absolutely enormous. With a total enrollment of 50,543 and 5,200 acres of pure Spartan territory, you better believe that you’ll surpass your FitBit goal every day. To accommodate its giant campus, Michigan State divides its MSU dorms and residence halls into five different neighborhoods: South, Brody, North, East, and River Trail. Basically, you have to go out of your way and probably hop on a bus or two if you ever want to visit friends in different neighborhoods. But don’t worry, you quickly gain a certain pride for your neighborhood and will defend it like the marching band guards the Statue from Wolverines during rivalry week.
Since everyone thinks that their neighborhood is the best, I didn’t find it appropriate to rank the MSU dorms and residence halls. I will, however, compare the pros and cons of each one and you’ll quickly realize that if you’re lucky enough to live in any Michigan State dorm, you’re lucky enough.
Where are my athletes at? South is best known as the athlete neighborhood. This is obvious because of its proximity to the athletic facilities like the football center, the Breslin, Jenison Field House, and the track. Do not be fooled, however, South is also home to pre-law students in the James Madison College located in Case Hall, and anyone else who wanted suite style dorms.
Doesn’t have community bathrooms.
The main draw to South is that it doesn’t have community bathrooms. This is great if you and your suite mates actually clean your bathroom and matchbox shower every week (props to you if you have the discipline).
Great distance away from everything.
A downfall of South is its great distance from absolutely everything. Whether you want to go to Chipotle, a frat party, or even class, you’re going to have a hefty Uber receipt so plan accordingly. A perk of South is that it’s all Freshmen, so you’ll quickly make friends since everyone is in the same situation. Oh. And make sure you go to Wilson late night pasta bar to satisfy your midnight cravings.
Time and time again, you will hear Brody referred to as “The best neighborhood at MSU”. Alright, Brody has a ton of advantages. They have the newest dorms (trust me, these things are glorious), the newest and biggest dining hall, and they’re within walking distance to certain frats and good food places. Although they have community style bathrooms (which some might say is a downfall, but come on, they get cleaned every day) Brody dorms have stylish study corners and lounges in every nook and cranny imaginable.
Far away from the rest of campus.
A downfall Brody has is it’s very far away from the rest of campus and where most of your classes will be. If you live in Brody and have a class in Vet Med plan to leave at least half an hour early. Due to the large floors and numerous freshmen living in Brody, you’re bound to make a lot of friends and always have a dining hall buddy (or ten buddies).
North pretty much has it all. It’s right on Grand River so you are close to all the restaurants, stores, and frats. If you live in North you will be able to go out a lot and unless it’s a blizzard outside, you will never have to take Uber since the frats are right across the street. Score. These dorms are the oldest on campus and you can definitely tell by the looks of them; however, their age contributes to their charm (the dorms literally look like Hogwarts).
They don’t hold as many residents as other dorms.
The only downside to North is that the dorms don’t hold as many people as the other neighborhoods, so making friends might be difficult. This is really not a big deal, though, join a bunch of clubs and you will be just fine. North is close to the library, Beaumont tower, classes, and most importantly, Union Late Night. I’m jealous of anyone who gets the privilege to live in North and eat Union Late Night every night. (Side note to Freshmen: set aside a time to venture over to the Union after 9 PM. Just do it.) Find a roommate online or go in with some friends and get ready to live the life in North neighborhood.
If you walk far enough you will arrive at the end of the world. This is also known as East neighborhood. I’m exaggerating a lot, but when you have chapter for your sorority and have to ride two buses to get there you will understand the feeling. Besides being so far away, East offers a really unique living experience.
You will live in a quad.
Living in East means you live in a quad. These rooms are really great if you and your roommates get along well. The sleeping area is split so that two people share a side and there is a small living room to put a tv and two futons in. The quads each have their own bathroom, so you never have to make the trek down the hallway in shower shoes and a towel. Most people really enjoy having four roommates and living in the quads. You won’t have to face the tundra too often during the winter since most of the large lecture halls are right across the courtyard. Overall, East is a good choice if you enjoy living with multiple roommates and don’t mind having to catch a ride or figure out a bus route to get to CVS (or civilization).
What’s prettier than MSU during the fall? River Trail neighborhood during the fall. This neighborhood spans the Red Cedar River and has a gorgeous biking trail that sits under a canopy of trees. You can imagine how breathtaking the walks to class are during all four seasons.
You can either have a dorm in the center of campus or all the way near East neighborhood.
Since River Trail runs along the river, you can either have a dorm in the center of campus or all the way near East neighborhood. Shaw hall is right in the hubbub of campus. It is by the Rock, Wells hall, and the bus station. Location wise, you can’t beat it.
Has a wide range of dorms, but not recommended for freshmen.
This neighborhood has a wide range of dorms. It has everything from community style bathrooms to apartment style dorms. Usually, a lot of sophomores, foreign exchange students, and older students live in River Trail. I wouldn’t recommend it for any freshmen. You probably won’t meet as many people as you would in Brody or South. Leave this neighborhood for people living in the dorms for their second year, but make sure you go to Shaw dining hall any time you are at the bus station.
Get ready for an unreal year. Go Green, Baby.
What are some other things every student should know about the MSU dorms? Comment below and share this article with friends and fellow students!
Featured image source: hercampus.com, wikipedia.org
An undergraduate student at Michigan State University, Samantha studies advertising. She enjoys riding horses, crafting, and being involved in her sorority. Having lived abroad in Europe and Canada, Samantha hopes to travel as much as she can. Go Green. Go White.