Living Arrangements at IC: Advice for Freshman

<p>Based on the following 'personality profile, which housing arrangements might be the right fit for me?<br>
I am an incoming freshman-straight, male music major. My paramount objective at IC is to become the best muscian I can be. I am completely focused & clear on my future goals. (I have had these goals since I was 13).
I am a reserved guy at first & not at ease initiating new friendships (just doesn't come natural for me). I make friends easier with people I often cross paths with such as classmates, teammates or club members. I am more comfortable with extroverts who make the effort to form a friendship. Fortunately, people want to be friends with me - they seek me out because they sense that I'm nice (I am) & different but in a 'cool' way. After I know them a while & still want to be friends, then I can lay back. Once a friend, always a friend- 99% retention rate.
I don't smoke, drink or do drugs & don't regularly hang out with those who do. I am in no way a nerd either (I am a NYC streetwise guy). I might be able to tolerate a party dorm that isn't too rowdy but why present myself with negative "temptations"? Again, my first & only priority is learning and practicing until I physically and mentally have to call it a day. I obviously put a high premium on solid sleep too. At the same time, I do want to have a social life. Are the dorms an all-or-nothing type of setup?<br>
I am bringing my SUV if walking across campus becomes a problem for me or living off campus is best suited for me. I am legally entitled to a disabled parking permit although I have never needed or applied for one as of yet. I hear parking on campus is near impossible.
Please offer as much info. as you can and be specific with names of dorms & apts. Where are they located? Which are coed dorms?
Are dining choices different &/or better depending on where you live? Single,double rooms, suites, etc.?
As a reserved musician, are there certain programs or clubs you would recommend to do some networking?</p>

<p>Thanks to all for your advice.</p>

<p>The Music Man</p>

<p>There really isn't going to be much by way of partying in the traditional residence halls, as far as I've experienced. If people do have get-togethers, if there is alcohol involved the sheer noise will get them busted pretty quickly. Generally, the real "parties" are off-campus, or maybe in the Circles or Garden apartments. However, I have heard that the Towers are pretty rowdy, so that's probably not the best place to go. Also, Towers rooms suck so I just generally don't recommend them overall. One bonus is that they're connected to the Towers dining hall, so you don't even have to go outside to eat (a plus in Ithaca), but then again the food there is fried and greasy a lot of the time. </p>

<p>Then, there are the Terraces. The Terrace rooms are pretty nice, I think, but they're a bit out of the way from most places, though they're not too bad from Dillingham and the Whalen building, if memory serves. The terrace dining hall is considered by some to be the best on campus, and it's also the location of the Kosher kitchen, if that applies. </p>

<p>That pretty much leaves the quad buildings, which are located more centrally on campus and are really convenient to get to most of the academic buildings, as well as the library. Lower quads will get you closer to Park Center (Bogart, Lyon, etc.) while the upper quads are more toward some of the main academic buildings like Textor and Smiddy. These are closest to the Campus Center dining hall, which probably has the best Vegan/Vegetarian options, but generally I was not a fan of this particular dining hall. Some of the upper quads are also just as close to Towers too, so you have options. </p>

<p>There is a substance free residence hall in the quads, and when I was there it was Hood hall. I never really heard much about it either way, other than one of my friend's boyfriend apparently egged it with some friends to be a jerk. I don't know if that's the greatest option.</p>

<p>As a freshman, I highly recommend applying for the first year program. For one, these residence halls get a higher programming budget, so they'll do neat stuff. When I was there, we had a murder mystery (won program of the semester), open house, and lots of programs involving free food. Also, since everybody is a freshman, it's easy to get to know other people because everyone is in the same boat. Finally, if the first year residence halls are still BRT (Boothroyd, Rowland, Tallcott), that gives you the ability to live in Boothroyd. The downside of it is that it's located a bit out of the way, pretty far from the music buildings, but the upside is that it has been very recently remodeled, and the rooms are probably the largest on campus. I lived there when I went to Ithaca (since transferred), and I really didn't mind it because I had plenty of space. Also the mattresses are quite new and very comfortable for residence hall mattresses.</p>

<p>Even if you decide not to go the route of the first year program, I do recommend looking into the learning communities in general. If you want to participate in programming (substance free!) and make friends, they're a good option.</p>

<p>"I am bringing my SUV if walking across campus becomes a problem"</p>

<p>This doesn't make any sense. You can't drive to class from your dorm room.</p>

<p>Also, all the dorms are coed, unless there is some all-female dorm that I don't know about.
The dining options do vary. The Terrace Dining Hall is generally the best. Campus Center is convenient for in between classes, and Towers is useful for late night dining.</p>

<p>Yeah...walking across campus takes 5 minutes, lol</p>

<p>I read online that there were apartment complexes that were a long walk to the campus buildings. Thanks for your clarification.</p>

<p>If there are any music students reading this, I would be interested in any input you might have about living arrangements, networking, etc.</p>

<p>The apartments that are a walk away are only for upperclassmen. They are called the circle apartments, and you probably won't get one until junior year. So no worries for freshmen year =).</p>

<p>I know a lot of music kids, and it's really not a problem where you live when it comes to the school. The terraces have an elevator/hallway/walkway that connects up to the terrace area, so that's nice, but the quads are like a 5 minute walk away. so anything would really work. =)</p>

<p>Yep, as Ksp791 says, those apartments are the Circle Apartments, and you really only have a shot at being there Junior or Senior year (unless something bizarre happens). Even then, they have to park and walk a bit. I lived, most of my time, in the Garden Apartments, and I would always see people I knew who lived in Circles parking rather close to my apartment (say a minute walk closer to campus), and walking more or less the same distance that I did.</p>

<p>Also, unless you get some special permit, the lots that freshman can park in are very far away from everything, and likely farther away from classes that your dorm will be.</p>

<p>Since the Circle Apartments are not an option for freshman, is it still worth bringing my car to school just to have the freedom to get around Ithaca to shop, eat, buy groceries, weekend drives, etc.? pros/cons?</p>

<p>I am now considering doing "The First Year Residence Hall Experience". It seems like a convenient way to connect with other freshman. Any opinions on the the Upper Quads (RTB)? </p>

<p>Last question to music majors or friends of music majors: I understand there is a music fraternity. Is there mainstream involvement among music majors or is it more of a "fringe" type of thing? </p>

<p>Thanks for all the replies I have been receiving.</p>

<p>I was going to join this discussion but decided not to until your last post. I do not think you need a car at Ithaca College. In fact, I know you do not need one. I would leave the car at home. The Upper Quads and the First Year Residence Hall Experience is something I would suggest. In fact, I suggested it to my daughter. I.C. is an incredible college! You will love it! Leave the car at home and if you need to go anywhere, take the bus. It stops on campus and will take you anywhere you want! Good luck!</p>

<p>I have to disagree with collegedad...If your family is willing to let you bring the car and pay for the parking pass, BRING IT. The bus is absolutely miserable. It takes an hour to get to the mall and an hour and 10 minutes to get back. During the winter it is always late, and several times it has been more than 30 minutes late. I'm from California, and it's so bad that I'm leasing a car next year so I can have a car on campus next year. The bus doesn't go straight to wegman's, either, so it takes a long ass time to get there, complete with transfers, so if you plan on grocery shopping it's a huge inconvenience.
And go Talcott! Awesome dorm, my friends loved it in the FYP</p>

<p>You don't need a car, but it is definitely nice. I didn't have a car frosh year, but did every other year. You'll have to pay twice as much for parking, and you pay have to park far away, but other than that, there is no downside to having the car. The bus is definitely not the best. I've taken it a couple of times, and its convenient to go to the commons and back, but as ksp791 says, I don't think its convenient to go much elsewhere. Being able to get to Wegmans is key when you have an apartment (bc you have a kitchen), but less important when you're in a dorm. The car would still be nice to go places: movies, etc.</p>

<p>... I just read the last sentence of CollegeDadX3's post. Unless something changed recently, its not like its an on-demand shuttle service. Its just the TCAT, right?</p>

<p>Yeah, we don't have a personal shuttle system, just TCAT =p. You CAN survive freshmen year without a car (I went without), but it's SOOO nice to have. The only downside is you have to park in only one lot, at the edge of campus, and pay like $500. But soph-senior year, it's WAY cheaper.</p>

<p>OK - I answered this from the perspective of a middle class family that can not afford to buy/lease a car for my child. I meant that one does not need a car at Ithaca College to be happy. My wife and I both went there and never had a car. I have several students who went/go there without a car and are happy. Unfortunately, college seems to be only available these days for the rich. As a teacher and one who will have three children in college this fall, I find this upsetting. I hope this trend does not continue as having a well rounded campus makes a college better and having poor yet gifted kids in college makes this country better. Seriously, if the bus makes you miserable and you are worrying about getting to the mall, you are in a far different economic bracket than most of the country. I have never heard of a family leasing a car for a kid at college. I wish I had that kind of discretionary income. For those who can not afford a car, you will still love Ithaca College! In fact, I loved riding the bus downtown and to Cornell while I was there.</p>

<p>I don't think anyone suggested buying or leasing a car that one doesn't already have. If that was the consideration, I would recommend against it, as the cost would be far too high for what you get out of it. If you don't already have a car, then you can make due with the TCAT bus, friends' cars, and perhaps the new Ithaca Carshare (Welcome</a> to Ithaca Carshare). As far as getting home from Ithaca, Cornell has a ride share board which can be very useful (Cornell</a> University - CUinfo - Carpooling at Cornell). I drove Cornell students to Philly on several occasions.
That being said, if you already have a car that isn't being used, bringing it to Ithaca may be a good idea. Freshman year is the least of the years you'd need it, but after that it becomes much more of a convenience to have.</p>

<p>Wow, Collegedad, your message is INCREDIBLY off. I go to Ithaca College on a merit scholarship for my high school grades. I am NOT well off, I don't even have a car at home, because my family can not afford it. In addition, I go to the mall not because I am "worried about getting to the mall," I go to the mall to volunteer at the SPCA annex. You know, the animal shelter? For free labor? Yeah. I'm totally a snobby rich kid. And additionally, I did not imply at ALL that he would be miserable without a car. lml said in his first post (if you had bothered to read) that he HAD A CAR and wanted to know if he should bring it. NOWHERE in my post did I say you had to run out and buy one. And nor did the other student who has been commenting on this post. I really would have expected more out of an Ithaca College graduate...you know, maybe some respect? And less ASSUMPTION?
Now, in reference to lml incase I had not been clear: If you have a car, and are willing to pay the expense for parking, it is a nice accessory. I made it through freshmen year without one, and it didn't make me miserable. It is simply nice to have. Now excuse me, but I have to go to bed in order to wake up early for my JOB so that I can afford the leased car that I plan on getting. (Yeah, collegedad, mommy and daddy don't pay for me. I do it alone).</p>

<p>The following is a question to all Ithaca students, past or present who have knowledge &/or advice regarding the "First Year Living Experience Program" where freshman live in a freshman-only dorm. What are the pros and cons of this living arrangement? On the one hand it seems like a good idea to be surrounded by students dealing the same challenges and having a more involved RA to help you navigate. Also, there are many planned events & activities offering opportunities to make friendships with other freshman. This should be helpful to freshman like me, who have a "passive" style of making friends. On the other hand, might it be a disadvantage to be isolated from older and more experienced students? In High School I often times found it easier to make friends with older classmates. </p>

<p>Any advice would be hugely aprreciated!</p>

<p>The Music Man</p>

<p>The advantages are probably this: "many planned events & activities offering opportunities to make friendships with other freshman"
Also, most other places you would live would be primarily freshman. Maybe less so for Terraces or Emerson. But if you're in the Quads or Towers it will probably be mostly freshman regardless.</p>