With housing selection starting this week, most students probably already have an idea of where they want to live next year. One factor that often goes unconsidered, however, is the health outlook of where you will live, eat, and sleep for the next eight months. Read on for class-by-class reviews of the best and the worst of BC ResLife.
Sophomore year-the year when friendships are made and broken (mostly broken) over the pursuit of the elusive eight-person friend group. If you are lucky enough to get a pick time before 6:30 p.m., then you will inevitably choose a room in Vandy or 90. Otherwise, you will have to consign yourself to living in the next-best option: Walsh Hall. Built over a decade before either Vandy or 90, it does not come equipped with refrigerators or A/C, although it does have some of the fastest elevators on campus. Still, older buildings tend to be dustier, so Vandy and 90 both beat Walsh out on the health front.
When it comes to sophomore housing, however, there is one option that trumps the rest in terms of cleanliness. While no one would willingly choose to live there, the rising sophomores who do not get a pick time for an eight- or four-man can find solace in the fact that in their new homes on CoRo, their bathrooms will be cleaned for them, their halls will be vacuumed, and that they will find far fewer beer cans scattered around their dorms than their friends on Lower. Those lucky enough to land a spot in 66 get the best of both worlds-the social convenience of Lower campus plus the health benefits of BC’s housekeeping staff.
Juniors are split into two groups-those with four years of housing, and those without. For the latter, choosing an off-campus living space that can be considered “clean” by most standards is a possible, albeit difficult, task. Apartments tend to be cleaner than houses for various reasons: fewer people living in each unit, less ground to cover when you clean, and stricter health regulations for large buildings. Plus, you rarely walk out of an off-campus apartment and start to wonder what that blackish grime covering the surface of the concrete floor in there was.
This is not to say that an off-campus house can’t be healthy to live in-a good landlord and healthy living habits can make a year living in Brighton more sanitary than living on-campus in some situations. As a matter of fact, there are multiple benefits to living off-campus regardless of where you live-long walks to campus are good exercise, and if done correctly, cooking for yourself can save you money and calories.
As fun as that forced exercise is, however, those with four years of housing may choose the convenience of living on campus over the potential health (and social) benefits of living off. The Gate (aka Stayer Hall) is the newest dorm on campus, and is generally clean and well-kept, making it the ideal choice. It also has some of the best shower water pressure on-campus, which is a huge plus. If worst comes to worst, then Vandy and 90 still have A/C, and getting an eight-man here would be considered a victory by your sophomore counterparts. The final choice for juniors, Edmond’s Hall, may have full kitchens, but it was built almost 40 years ago, so if you have allergies, respiratory problems, or just want to live in a nice building, then keep away.
Let’s be honest-if you want to live in the Mods, then you probably aren’t that concerned with the sanitary aspects of living in one. For those who don’t want every weekend to bring a new crowd of freshmen to their doorsteps, Voute and Gabelli are the best options. If you want a meal plan, then the Gate is a good alternative (see above), although there are some options that no one would ever classify as “healthy.”
Ignacio and Rubenstein are the oldest dorms on Lower other than the Mods, but are still better than Edmond’s. It’s worth noting that the new consumer opportunities that arise once you turn 21 are also opportunities for more calories, so drink responsibly. In the end, you can’t really lose with senior housing. Unless you get Edmond’s. In which case, you have lost.
No matter where you live, however, your environment is only one factor in living a healthy life. Making the trip to the Plex every once in a while (not just “every once in a semester”) and eating somewhat healthy food, whether you cook it yourself or let the BC Dining chefs cook it for you, will shape what your college health regimen looks like.