A few considerations for choosing where to live on campus

Applying to live on campus is an exciting part of starting your time at Reed! Maybe you’re moving away from home for the first time and aren’t entirely sure what kind of housing might appeal to you as an independent human. Or maybe you aren’t sure how Reed housing will be different from places you’ve lived before. So, as we gear up for housing selection, I figured it might be useful for you to know how our housing process works and what factors you might want to consider as you go through the process of applying.
First, as you may know from the housing application process, you get to preference three buildings/living communities. And, unfortunately, we can’t guarantee that you will get placed in one of your top choices. That is definitely the goal, but certain buildings get preferenced far more than others, and due to the reality of limited space, it’s not always possible to give you one of your top choices. Anyway, disclaimer aside, here are a few factors I think are worth considering as you embark on the journey of choosing housing:
Theme communities:
As you can read about on the Res Life website, we have certain dedicated theme communities . You should peruse the theme and community living options available to decide if one looks like it might suit you. Most themes are focused around shared interests and will have theme based events. Theme communities are incredibly welcoming and care about you having a willingness to try to engage in the theme more than having prior experience. For instance, if you want to apply to live in GameDev, they don’t require coding experience but look for a desire to learn about and play games of all types.
Some themes are based around shared lifestyle preferences more than shared interests. For example, substance free housing fosters a community that chooses to leave tobacco, alcohol, and other substances outside of their living space.
Especially as you choose to live in a new place with new people, it can be helpful to know that you’re going to join a community with shared interests. Of course, your HA (House Adviser) will work diligently to help you feel at home in or out of a theme community.
Location on campus:
Do you want to be able to roll out of bed and into commons in the morning without spending more than 30 seconds outside? If so, ODB (Old Dorm Block), Anna Mann, or any of the buildings in FSM (Foster, Scholz, and MacNaughton) might be a good fit for you.
Do you want to be able to live in a quieter corner of campus and walk across the canyon to be reminded of Reed’s beauty on your way to class? In this case, Bragdon, Naito-Sullivan, or The Grove might be great options for you.
Another consideration when thinking about your location on campus is noise. While ODB might be great in terms of proximity to commons on Saturday morning, it is also close to the SU (Student Union), which hosts Reed balls on some weekend nights. If you want to be able to choose whether or not you can hear the festivities, ODB may not be the most ideal dorm for you. Sullivan and Naito, for example, are far enough away that you won’t hear noise from central campus but will still only take a few minutes to walk across the fish ladder to commons.
Some of our awesome theme communities (like the co-ops) are only open to returning students, so you can look forward to applying for those next year!
No matter where you end up, we can’t wait to build community with you and for you to be part of Reed.
 An increasingly sappy, rising senior HA
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