Coming to college freshman year was such a scary experience full of huge decisions. I have never been good at making decisions. I’m actually very, very bad at it.
So after I chose to come to BGSU (which was actually a somewhat easy decision because I fell in love with BG on my first visit), I was terrified to have to choose which residence hall I wanted to live in. Lucky for me, Centennial and Falcon Heights weren’t even options for me my freshman year because they hadn’t even been built yet!
I have heard there’s quite a bit of hype about these new residence halls, but let me tell you, these are not your only options. Every residence hall at BG is full of so many positive aspects; it’s really hard to make a wrong decision when it comes to choosing where to live on campus.
My freshman year, I chose to live in Kreischer. I lived in Kreischer Compton, fourth floor, and it was really quite the experience. I think Kreischer is often overlooked, overshadowed by Mac and all of the new dorms. Poor Kreischer. There are actually a lot of really great things about Kreischer, and, just like with all of the other res halls, some not so great things. Let me go over all of the pros:
- Kreischer is super close to the student Rec Center. Freshman 15? Nope, not for me. It’s like a two-minute walk to the rec, just right across the street. Whereas most of the other freshman had quite the trek to the rec, we lucky Kreischer residents could go pretty much whenever we wanted, no matter what the weather was like.
- Two words: The Sundial. It was so convenient to have such a large dining hall literally two floors down from me. The Sundial is open early for breakfast and doesn’t close until midnight so whenever hunger hit, it was there and ready to go. They had the usual pizza, burgers, fries and subs every day, but they also have an AWESOME salad bar and a healthy choices hot food section, which I really appreciated. (For those splurge days though, like on Tollhouse pie days or fried macaroni and cheese bites day, the rec center is right across the street!)
- Kreischer is full of a ton of learning communities and different groups of people. I, for instance, lived in the Arts Village, even though I was not a member of the Arts Village. Kreischer is also a popular place for freshman athletes to live and my friend was in a construction learning community in Kreischer, so the population is diverse. There was always something going on and new people to meet.
- Because Kreischer is a primarily first-year dorm, everyone was so open and friendly. Doors were always open, people were always around, and random stop-ins were a frequent occurrence. It was just an overall open atmosphere and I felt like I really belonged.
Just like with any residence halls, there were a few cons of living in Kreischer as well. Some of these included:
- Although Kreischer is close to the Rec Center, it is far away from most of the academic buildings on campus. It was a good 10-15 minute walk to all of my classes, but it could be worse. At least it was even more of an excuse to exercise! In the winter months, though, I became best friends with the campus shuttle (which isn’t a bad thing… that’s why it’s there!).
- Just like most freshman dorms at most universities, the rooms are very small and the community bathrooms are gross. You get used to both of these things, though. My roommate and I ended up bunking our bed and using under-bed storage to increase the living space in the room and it really worked out. As for the bathrooms… always, and I mean ALWAYS, wear shower shoes or flip-flops.
My sophomore year I chose to live in Offenhauer. I was in Offenhauer East, to be exact. Again, I was very happy with this choice and enjoyed my second year of living on campus. Again, there were mostly good and a few negative aspects of Offenhauer. Some of the pros included:
- BIGGER ROOMS. After living in Kreischer my freshman year in those freshman-sized rooms, coming to Offenhauer was like living in a palace. There was so much more room than before! After some quick rearranging with my roommate, we had the optimal layout for the most space possible in the room. I loved it.
- Outtakes. I loved having Outtakes in our lobby. For those of you who don’t know, Outtakes is like a mini-convenience store. They sell everything from pasta to peanut butter to cereal to jugs of milk. Pretty much anything you need, it’s there. You can buy in bulk or on a meal-to-meal basis. It was really nice to have.
- Since Offenhauer is mostly an upperclassman dorm, it ended up being much quieter than most freshman dorm. It was very easy to study and do homework in the room, whereas sometimes it was a little too loud to do serious work in Kreischer. It just had an overall more mature feel because most of us were out of our “freshman year” phase and into our “let’s get serious” phase.
Again, just a few cons to point out:
· There is no actual dining hall in Offenhauer. Yes, Outtakes is great but sometimes all you want is hot food ready now. The Mac dining was different when I lived there than it is now, but it was only a short walk to get there, so it wasn’t too bad.
· Whereas Offenhauer was a nice quiet place to study, it was also a bit too quiet sometimes if you wanted to socialize. The doors to the rooms didn’t stay open like they did in the freshman dorms, so it was much harder to meet people. Fortunately, by my sophomore year I had a pretty solid friend base so this didn’t make too much of a difference.
All in all, living on campus is a great experience, no matter where you end up. No residence hall is perfect, but on the other hand, no residence hall is absolutely dreadful either. If you go in with a positive outlook and an adventure-ready attitude, you’ll truly have a great time.