Here's what it was like for me living in Foothill. Please note that these are my views and only represent one perspective. Every Friday night a bunch of drunken frat pledgies return to their rooms at 3 a.m. and make huge rackets. Once every so often your roommate needs to pull an all-nighter and you have to sleep with the lights on. Some people like to blast loud music that can be heard across the entire floor. You get no privacy whatsoever. No one's doing anything wrong, but these problems are inevitable when living with others, and when you live in a dorm you have to learn to deal with these things. I had some occasional good times with floormates, but for the most part people were very occupied in their own business. Many people stay in their rooms typing on their computers all day long, doing God-knows-what. I'm a CS major and I didn't need to use the computer more than 2-3 hours a day. On Friday nights about 80-90% are out -- some socializing, some abusing substances, some doing frat-pledging work, some doing God-knows-what.
However, no one's forcing you to live in a dorm. For one-half to three-quarters of the price, you can stay in an apartment, get a single room, set your own sleeping schedule, have privacy, etc. You should see this as an opportunity. I respect the fact that some people like living in dorms, and there's nothing wrong with that. But when you add price to the list of concerns, the choice becomes obvious -- less than 25% of my floormates said they were returning to a dorm next year. You can find apartments easily through craigslist.com -- the supply is quite high (though finding a good combination of price and location may rather difficult. At least all studio apartments I know of are cheaper than dorms.)
EDIT - One more possible concern is finding study buddies. Actually, the chances of finding someone in your exact same class and section are quite slim, even though Foothill is noted for its high concentration of engineering/science majors. Find study buddies through your discussion/lab sections and get their AIM names and phone numbers -- these work out the best.
Last edited by Student; 06-03-2006 at 03:33 AM.