Living in a dorm is like a rite of passage for most college freshmen- it’s part of the college experience. Choosing which dorm to live in can be extremely stressful on top of all your other responsibilities as an incoming freshman. There are a ton of factors that go into finding the perfect dorm like your contract number, where your roommate wants to live, location, etc. The last thing any new student wants is to be stuck in a dorm that’s in BFE or has that weird smell in the walls. To make things easier, here is a ranking list of the best freshman dorms at Florida State University.
1. Mangolia and Azalea
These two dorms will open in Fall 2017 as the newest dorms on campus. Since they are brand new, students get the perk of being the first ones to live in their room. Predictably, they will also be the cleanest and nicest and have the least maintenance problems that some of the older dorms can have (no hot water, faulty outlets, etc.) There’s also rumors that a Chipotle will be built right next to the dorms, perfect for when you’re feeling too lazy to walk to the dining hall.
2. Dorman and Deviney
There is essentially no difference between the two except their names. The pair are definitely the most centrally located and just steps away from the gym and other popular classroom buildings. If you decide to bring your car, Traditions parking garage is literally right across the street so you don’t have to worry about walking through campus alone at night.
If you’re set on living in apartment style, Ragans will be your best bet. One con is that more sophomores tend to live in Ragans, so it’ll be more competitive for freshmen to get in. It doesn’t have as central location as say Dorman or Deviney, but if you value your privacy it’ll be a win. Apartment style dorms usually always have 4 roommates so you have the chance for more social activity than in some of the other dorms, which is a huge plus as a freshman.
This dorm is great, but the amazing view of Landis green is reserved for honors students only (a meal plan is required). Besides the best view, Landis sports newly renovated amenities and one of the best locations on campus. Right across from Strozier and a minute walk to chick-fil-a, Honors students have everything they could need within a short convenient walk.
If you’re looking for a convenient location like Landis, but are not in the Honors college, then Broward and Gilchrist are the way to go. They’re right next to the Landis dorm and sport most of the same amenities. Both dorms are also super close to Suwanee dining hall and require meal plans.
Degraff is the one dorm that’s technically off campus, but don’t let that scare you. The property is extra secure with a gate around it that requires your FSU id to swipe in. Despite its location, there’s a convenient underground tunnel that leads straight into the union for food and also puts you in the middle of campus. If you’re in a sorority or frat the location might be an inconvenience since it’s farther away from the houses compared to other dorms. Degraff can also get a bit noisy at night given its location.
7. Jennie Murphree/Reynolds/Bryan
For those who aren’t looking for anything specifically in a dorm, the JRB complex is the way to go. The main perk is the proximity to the Suwannee dining hall. If you’re in a sorority you’ll appreciate the closeness to the houses so it doesn’t feel like a mountain trek every time you go for meals. The dorms haven’t been renovated in a while and the rooms in Bryan tend to be smaller, but it’s not as bad as you might think. It’s a little farther away from the main hubs of campus like the Union and HCB, and you’ll definitely have a walk to the stadium. No worries though, the buses that stop right outside the dorm can get you basically anywhere you need to go.
Cawthon is basically the dorm that got left out of the JRB squad. It’ll cost you a little more with the required meal plan, but the convenience of Suwanee close by makes it worth it. The dorm also includes practice rooms, so if you’re not a music student and don’t enjoy the rough sounds of professionals in the making, Cawthon probably isn’t the one for you. Besides its reputation as “the music student dorm” it really isn’t all that different from Jennie, Reynolds, and Brian in terms of location and size.
I’m almost certain they named this dorm with the location in mind because it basically is in the wild. But in all fairness, the location really is the only not great thing about Wildwood. It resides in the back of campus and is closer to the stadium than any other dorm which is a plus for game days; but if you’re in a sorority the location might seem like more of an inconvenience than an advantage if you like to go to the house often.
If there actually was a dorm that was bad enough to rule out solely based on location, McCollum would be it. It is apartment style, which is a plus for the social aspect, but go for Ragans if you can. The main perk is the closeness to Fresh Foods, which is arguably better than Suwanee. It’s also near the psychology building which is helpful for some since many freshmen go in as psych majors. But if you’re not a psych major and aren’t for looking for apartment style, steer clear of McCollum.
There’s not much to say about Salley besides that it’s universally accepted as the worst dorm. It’s slightly closer to campus than McCollum, but still nowhere near where any of your freshman classes will probably be. Besides the location, the setup of the room isn’t that enjoyable either. The rooms are so small that most people end up bunking their beds. But, it is known as the most social dorm because of its setup which is great for freshman!
Ultimately, there’s no really bad dorm when it comes down to it. The only thing that can really make a significant difference in your experience is location!