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Housing for Transfer

cjp2012cjp2012 4 replies4 threads New Member
edited January 2014 in Northwestern University
I am going to be starting at Northwestern as a sophomore this fall (WCAS), and I was hoping that someone could shed some light on the housing situation for transfers -- the website offers descriptions, but they are not terribly helpful.

Do they tend to put transfers together? Does it matter which halls we apply for, or is it more or less random with transfers? Is the adjustment difficult in terms of meeting people. My concern is that it might be difficult to make friends if lumped in with people who have already had a year to form their friend-groups.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
edited January 2014
9 replies
Post edited by cjp2012 on
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Replies to: Housing for Transfer

  • NorthwesternDadNorthwesternDad 538 replies17 threads Member
    As per their web site, it looks like incoming Freshmen and Transfers are lumped together.
    New Student: Residential Services @ NU - Northwestern University
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  • bn12ggbn12gg 498 replies21 threads Member
    Back in 1968 I transferred to Northwestern as a soph. I found a house with a room to rent on Sherman. Nothing was available on campus. It worked out until I found housing via a fraternity Winter quarter. Just my experience.
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  • siemprecuriosasiemprecuriosa 474 replies29 threads Member
    I know someone who tranferred here as a sophomore, and he made friends in the dorm pretty easily. In general, a large number of people who live in the dorms and res colleges are freshmen. So if you go to live in a dorm or res college, it won't be like everyone else has already formed groups, because most people are freshmen and don't know each other yet, either.

    Good luck!
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  • acooperfanacooperfan 28 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Hi, current Northwestern sophomore here. In all likelihood, you'll be assigned to a single room in Plex, a pretty anti-social dorm mostly full of international students and quite awkward upperclassmen. TRY TO AVOID PLEX AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. Unfortunately, since transfer students apply for dorms after all the rooms are assigned to returning students, the chances of getting a room in a vibrant, social, well-desired dorm is, albeit not nill, quite low. One way you can avoid that is to apply to residential colleges, such as Willard RC (quite a quirky group, cool kids though). There aren't a lot, but a few successful cases where transfer students make it into those. Or you could check out Northwestern Housing group on Facebook page, where you can find tons of subletters/sometimes even people looking for new roommmates in dorms/apartments/houses in place of people suddenly transferring OUT.

    Making friends in fall quarter can be hard if you're placed in an anti-social dorm, in which few have any real group of friends willing to expand too far. However, if you join a sorority/fraternity, that will be remedied very easily in the winter quarter, since you will be meeting ridiculous number of people and, let's be honest, you'll be so busy pledging (oops, I mean bro/sis bonding) that the weight of social life will feel like taking another course. If you're not a greek person, there's still a whole bunch of social outlets and groups that you can join and make great friends, spanning from sports clubs to business frats to a capella groups.

    I happen to know a couple transfer students who came to Northwestern last year, and I'll be honest, they do say that fall quarter was quite lonely/boring. But I can guarantee that that will not last long if you give minimal effort in trying to find friends. Another great thing -if you can manage to hold onto this- is that your PA group during the Wildcat Welcome Week will be a 'transfer student group,' so you'll at least know a bunch of other transfer students who can cry lonely tears with you.

    I hope you find your next year in Northwestern pleasant enough, and get pumped for the Wildcat Welcome Week, the week that NU campus scene turns into exactly what Hollywood movies portray American college life to be!
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  • music4lifexxmusic4lifexx 9 replies14 threads New Member
    Could you elaborate more on the negatives of plex?
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  • acooperfanacooperfan 28 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Despite the risk of sounding bigoted, I'll relay to you what a big portion of the campus estimates what Plex to be. This will be what students generally talk about while walking around on campus, so do not expect any real figures or a full-out bibliography with real credibility.
    It is, first of all, known to be extremely quiet. It is difficult to make friends with your neighbors or hallmates, or even suitemates, from what I've heard.
    Due to this popular notion and the fact that most of the rooms are singles, the dorm became a very lucrative point for a lot of people who do not want disturbance from others and like to keep quiet. Definitely not a social bunch.
    Second of all, maybe this could be a plus to you, but it has a lot of international students, to the point where it became weird if to not see Korean international students smoking outside the building. One downside of this is that international students are generally known to prefer keeping things within their own cultural group and rarely approach people who are not close to/of their cultural identity. Also, although cannot be verified by any means that I own, I have heard some rumors about some members of these groups to even venturing to smoke in the dorm or drink until late and make loud noises.
    Third, the fire alarm. I don't know if this was particular to this year, but that fire alarm in Plex went off more than half a dozen times in the middle of the night this year. You have to evacuate the entire building once it happens. NOT a fun experience.
    Finally, the building itself isn't really all that appealing. It is rumored to have been designed by a prison designer (not jokingly), and it really does have similar features to a prison, with its enclosed shapes fully furnished with rough brick walls, inside and out. Although I have never personally been in there, I heard that the hallways are dim and small, rooms are small, and the walls are paper thin. And that is as in if your neighbor is in a relationship, YOU WILL KNOW AND WILL BE REMINDED EVERY NIGHT.

    I cannot fully attest to the antisocialness of the dorm next year, mainly because some brothers of fraternities such as 'Lodge,' Sig Ep, Delta Upsilon and other fraternities that are kicked off campus seem to be contemplating moving to Plex next year, and as far as I know, they are quite social and cool to hang out with. But whether they'll again keep it to their holy brotherhood or dare open up their secrets you is something I cannot be certain of.

    There are certain upsides, too, such as having two dining halls right inside the building, with a mailroom and other administrative offices. These dining halls only close at night, which allows you to eat whenever you really want. There is also Plex latenight, which is open until 11 and accept meal plans. Great if your schedule does not allow regular meal times. Its location is quite perfect, close to both North and South campus, a feature dorms such as Bob or Allison lacks severely. People generally underestimate the power of proximity, but trust me, it's significant. Oh and it is also really close to Blomquist gym, although the gym really is pretty ****ty and you'll probably end up going to SPAC up north if you're serious about sports/working out at all.

    All in all, living in Plex is definitely not something that is deemed 'cool' by any means. It does have its perks, though.
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  • music4lifexxmusic4lifexx 9 replies14 threads New Member
    So why are there so many Asians in plex. Is the reason plex isn't social due to the fact upperclassmen aren't open to making new friends?
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  • NUstudent917NUstudent917 2 replies0 threads New Member
    NU does treat transfer students and incoming freshmen similarly for housing. Although it's likely you'll end up in Plex as a transfer student, it's not the only option. I'd suggest you try to get into a Residential College. And don't let people scare you- you'll make plenty of friends as a transfer student as long as you get involved on campus.
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  • LiloveLilove 17 replies1 threads New Member
    Apply for some of the nicer less-known dorms, like Rogers, 1856 Orrington, or 2303 Sheridan. A lot of freshmen and transfers get placed into places like those because less people know about them. If you try for the higher-demand dorms, like Allison or Willard, your chances aren't as good and they're not quite as nice anyway.
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