Hi guys! I am a senior in high school who will gladly matriculate to Northwestern this fall! I know I am thinking about this far too early, but I'd just like to hear some opinions on a few dorms/RCs I'm considering. (By the way, I'm WCAS but intend to double major in polisci & RTVF.)
So...out of CRC (East Fairchild), Willard, and Chapin, which one do you current students prefer? I don't have any "standard" that will make or break a dorm for me, which is probably why I am interested in 3 very different dorms. I just want overall opinions from people who have been there or have lived there.
First of all, your main school will be school of communications, not Weinberg, if you intend to double major in RTVF and poli sci, so if that's what you want to do you should transfer from Weinberg to School of Comm.
I'd say Willard has the tightest bond among residents from the 3 dorms you listed.
As you can see from your two answers, choosing dorms is a a personal thing. As a RTVF major, CRC is a great residential college dorm. It has a good mix of RTVF, Medill, and other kids in it. Willard is also very appealing but it's larger and doesn't have any focus. Don't know anything about Chapin.
In the end, it doesn't generally matter, you'll love and be tight with whichever dorm you're in. My daughter was in CRC as a Freshman, is a senior now, and is very close with many of the kids she met there, lives with 5 of them.
To be honest, dorm living is what you make of it. There are some kids who end up making friends with people from all over campus, and whose closest friends will not be in the same dorm as them. And then, of course, you have students whose closest group of friends is the one they share a dorm with. Whatever is the case for you, always remember to be proactive (ESPECIALLY during fall quarter, and maybe even more importantly, during Wildcat Welcome Week). Don't be afraid to ask people you've just met for a meal (just don't be creepy about it haha).
Anyways, back to your question -- all three dorms are solid choices if you're looking for smaller, more laid-back communities. Obviously, this isn't everyone's cup of tea, but all three dorms definitely have a sense of community (maybe Chapin not so much). Willard, I would say, has the most "spirit". People who live in Willard either loooooove it, or don't like it at all (if they're not involved with Willard activities, etc.). Chapin was recently renovated, so the facilities are pretty nice (I'm sure you'll get a chance to look at them during a tour). CRC isn't bad, especially if you plan on pursuing RTVF.
@aleksander - I know I'd have to transfer into SoC...I'm still debating the decision if I want to transfer before fall quarter or to wait until I get there and begin classes.
@amtc - That's great to hear! I feel like CRC has the type of community I want, I just know that the facilities are apparently really crappy. But Chapin, arguably the nicest of the 3, has no community whatsoever it sounds like. Hm.
@salibut2020 - Thanks, it certainly does help! I'm still trying to figure out if I want a smaller community of CRC or the larger one of Willard, where everyone seems to be super spirited. I heard Willard is mostly theater majors - do you know if that's just a rumor or if that's indeed the case?
@NBCbyNature -- I've never lived in Willard, so I can't speak from firsthand experience, but I can say that the stereotype definitely leans true. Obviously, not all Willardites are theater majors, but I would say a majority of the students in Willard are humanities-based, or lean towards the arts: a lot of music majors, RTVF majors, journalism majors, theater majors, etc. I'd say the average Willardite is a little nerdy and definitely more on the artsy side. Like I mentioned, Willardites tend to really like their dorm if they're really involved with the Willard community. However, there is sometimes a sense from outsiders looking in that Willard occupies its own little world.
CRC isn't really as much of a community as Willard might be, and I wouldn't say Chapin is either. Dorm living can be really iffy. Most people will identify themselves with a different on-campus "community" before they even think about identifying with their dorm. For example, people in Greek life would identify much more with their frat/sorority. A lot of people are perfectly content with just having a solid group of friends, and not much of a larger "community" outside of that -- which is perfectly fine!
The bottom line is just to remember not to limit yourself, and to not let your living situation define your experience at NU. Be sure to make friends in your dorm, but always be open to making friends outside of your dorm as well. Sorry for rambling -- hope this was helpful!
There might be an updated one coming out much later when your class will actually need to start thinking about housing. Previous years' housing guides are also available if you look for it via Google. Just remember to take this all with a grain of salt!
@rckchlk I live in Bobb! Everyone describes it as being of pretty poor quality, but it's really not bad at all; it's super social, and I'm having a ton of fun!
The biggest perk about Elder is it's all freshmen whereas Bobb is a mix of freshmen and sophomores. Additionally, the facilities in Elder are significantly nicer. Our cinderblock walls aren't exactly the prettiest...
Either way, I love living up north. It's an incredibly different vibe from south campus, mainly because the frats are up here. If you need some quiet on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday nights, you'll have to go to the library because both Bobb and Elder get pretty rowdy then.
None of the dorms are terrible. Willard and Chapin have big dorm rooms, but housing costs are adjusted accordingly. Chapin's just been renovated this past summer, and it looks amazing. It's pretty quiet, though. Willard's sort of Chapin's louder sibling. They both have pretty decent community, but Willard's bigger, and has more things going on. The hallways are good for chilling in, and it's easy to see who has their doors propped open, which is good if you're trying to meet people. You'd probably end up with a cluster of people on your floor that you like to generally chill and hit parties with, but they're nowhere near as hard partiers as people in, say, Bobb. Willard isn't as super spirity as people think. There's a couple of people that are all "YAY WILLARD" and most everyone else just thinks that it's pretty okay, because they've met people that they like.
Bobb and Elder are social to bits, and the floors end up being super close, from what I've seen. I haven't met many people from West Fairchild, but I... guess they probably are a little quieter. My friend tells me that it's a pretty low-key place to be, but I don't know.
Hinman's another really nice one. It's pretty quiet, too, but I like the people I've met that live in Hinman.
For meeting people and making a sort of community, I'd recommend NMQ/SMQ, Willard, Bobb-McC, and Elder, off the top of my head. Everyone in the mid quads bonds pretty well, even if the dorms aren't the best. Maybe it's because the dorms aren't the best. I hear that Rogers House is good for that, too. Allison is nice, but I've heard a few freshmen complaining that they don't get to meet quite as many people as they might somewhere else.
If you're an engineer, take a look at living in Slivka. It's filled with 'em, and it's kind of a really nice place to live.
I'm planning on doing substance-free so I'm guaranteed in Hinman. I'm doing it partially for the housing and partially for not having to smell drugs or alcohol. I don't care if people do drugs or drink, but I don't want to have to clean up their puke, or smell their pot, etc. so substance free is win win