Your first year at UVA comes with a lot of exciting first experiences. From your first fraternity party to registering for classes for the first time to living away from home in a dorm. All you first years should have gotten your housing assignment on July 3, so by now you’re probably coordinating with your roommate on what pattern comforter to buy and wondering if you’ll be friends with the people on your hall or in your suite. Here’s an honest review of the first year dorms at UVA so you can prepare yourself and get excited for a great year!
Bonnycastle, Kent and Dabney
Congratulations, you’ve gotten the best first year housing! If you’re living in Bonnycastle, Kent or Dabney next year then you are living in the most recently renovated dorms on Grounds. These three dorms are part of the old dorms group on McCormick Road, but they have now been installed with air conditioning. Believe me, you will be thanking your lucky stars for that air conditioning on move-in day when you see all the other old dorm people sweating through their clothes as they lug suitcases up to their room. Bonnycastle, Kent and Dabney are also closer to the Lawn and the central heart of Grounds than any of the other dorms. So with a prime location and air conditioning, these dorms really are the best of both worlds. Lucky you!
Other Old Dorms
If you’re living in any of the other old dorms on McCormick Road, including Hancock, Lefevre and Metcalf, then there are some definite pros and cons to these dorms. These three dorms will not be air-conditioned while you live in them, which can be pretty terrible for the first month or two of school. Buy at least three fans to put in your room and the lack of air conditioning won’t be too bad. Even though it can get a little stuffy in the old dorms, people have loved these dorms for over fifty years. They are considered prestigious housing among many UVA students because there is so much history behind them.
There are eight new dorm residences located on Alderman Road including, Shannon, Tuttle-Dunnington, Watson-Webb, Lile-Maupin, Woody, Balz-Dobie, Cauthen and Gibbons. These dorms are considerably newer compared to the old dorms and all are fully air-conditioned, thank goodness. They are hall-style like the old dorms, although some people say the old dorm rooms are bigger. New dorms are incredibly clean which is a plus, but it is a little farther to get to central Grounds. I recommend using the bus system as there are two bus stops extremely close to the New Dorms.
Although the Kellogg residence is a part of the Alderman Road new dorms, it’s in a category all by itself because of its infamous nickname, “Mount Kellogg.” If you are living in Kellogg next year get ready to climb a ton of stairs every single day. Some UVA construction geniuses decided to put Kellogg right on top of a hill and make poor little first years climb up there to live in the dorm for a year. But don’t worry too much about Mount Kellogg’s altitude because there’s a bus stop right outside the dorm, so you can still be lazy.
Gooch and Dillard
The Gooch and Dillard dorms are located farther down Alderman Road and are close to the football field. They are suite-style rather than the hall-style new and old dorms, meaning that a cluster of three rooms have their own living space and bathroom. Many first years enjoy the suite style aspect of Gooch and Dillard because they can bond with their suitemates and don’t have to share a bathroom with about twenty people. Gooch and Dillard, however, are the dorms that are farthest from central Grounds which is people’s biggest complaint about the residences. If you’re living in Gooch or Dillard, then the bus is going to be your best friend next year.
Courtney, Dunglison and Fitzhugh
I’m not even sure UVA is putting first year students in these dorms anymore because they are badly in need of a renovation. The nickname of these dorms is “the motels,” since that’s what you feel like you’re living in if you’re placed here. They don’t have air-conditioning and are still pretty far away from central Grounds, making them the most unlikable dorms at UVA.