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Would living in Forbes be too isolating for a freshman?

LurkNessMonsterLurkNessMonster 1932 replies83 threads Senior Member
edited April 2007 in University of Pittsburgh
The honors living/learning community has been moved from the towers to Forbes. That location looks to be far away from food service and a long walk to Pitt academic buildings. Would a first-year be better off declining honors housing and living with the rest of the freshman in one of the towers? I hear that's a fun experience and everyone gets to know one another. (I'm a mom, but my daughter will also be researching.) She's OOS, and I think the social aspect is very important for a kid who won't know a single soul when she arrives on campus.

Any opinions?
edited April 2007
12 replies
Post edited by LurkNessMonster on
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Replies to: Would living in Forbes be too isolating for a freshman?

  • oceangirloceangirl 90 replies5 threads Junior Member
    a lot of people in the Pitt Class of 2011 group on Facebook were having similar concerns....here's what one girl had to say:

    "so i'm going to be a sophomore and i live in forbes now, and it has definitely been awesome-- college is completely what you make of it, especially at a big school, so meeting people is all up to you, no matter where you live. it might seem like 4 blocks is a lot, but it's barely anything and the rooms are so much bigger and better. it is quieter than towers, but that's only because there are 200-some people in forbes and thousands in towers. i have my own bathroom, most people share a bathroom with another room, but it beats those nasty towers bathrooms.
    it might seem like you're a little bit out of the loop in the first week or so, but that feeling definitely goes away once you're comfortable on campus. you don't have to live in towers to meet people - all of your classes will be down that way and you'll spend the majority of your day down there - i would recommend living in forbes if you have the chance to."

    thought maybe this would help you; this is pretty much the impression I've gotten from everyone I talk to about Forbes... I'm not too worried.
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  • Pat2323Pat2323 612 replies23 threads Member
    The easiest way to meet people is by interacting with the ones you live by. And the Towers are the best place for that because everyone is new. That being said, as long as you are active outside of class, (joining a club, attending freshmen activities) you shouldn't have a problem maknig friends your age.
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  • LBPLBP 400 replies13 threads Member
    We were just at Pitt this past weekend, and although Forbes seems to be isolated, it's walkable to other Pitt buildings, and the Pitt shuttle runs all over. Actually, Forbes is right near many eating places as well as a drug store. (I did not have the opportunity to tour Forbes, though.) I think once the students get acclimated, they'll zigzag through the side streets and cut through other Pitt buildings to get where they need to go. It shouldn't be too bad, and the students might even end up going over to the Towers together to use their meal plan. The Pitt Union building (the old hotel) is right off of Forbes, too, and there's food there on the lower level (i.e., pizza).
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  • mercymommercymom 1220 replies29 threads Senior Member
    If you're thinking about not doing Forbes, then you must be doing honors college and you will potentially miss out on the social life of the honors college by not living in Forbes. For some reason the majority (if not all) of the notices and announcements concerning UHC activities for freshmen get posted on the honors floors in the towers (this year) and the people who live elsewhere have a tendency to get left out just cause they don't know about stuff til it's too late. Also, there is a lot of camaraderie on the honors floors and it is an easy way to make friends with people who you don't take class with. I suspect the move to Forbes will help strengthen that "family" feeling.

    Since there's apparently no food in Forbes you will most likely go to Towers anyway to eat, and it really isn't that much of a walk once you're used to it, which will take about one day. If you go in through the lobby and down the stairs to eat, you will pass all the info tables that will keep you up to snuff on general freshman activities. These info tables are an almost nonstop presence, so if you eat there at least once a day you will always know what's going on.

    The only people I would perhaps caution against Forbes are the engineering majors, only due to the group projects that sometimes keep you up til 2am nights on end. That is a lot easier to cope with if you're able to just walk next door to another Tower and w/o leaving the building (shared lobby). If you're an engineer then you might be better off in SPACE just to make the group work easier.

    I agree that Towers is a great way to meet the other freshmen and keep up with all the opptys, but if you eat there every day, which is NOT hard if you live in Forbes, then you will meet people and keep up anyway.
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  • LurkNessMonsterLurkNessMonster 1932 replies83 threads Senior Member
    Thanks for all the advice! My daughter poked around on Facebook and came to the same conclusion. She really likes all the eating spots on Forbes Avenue, too. Does anyone know if the Pitt dining plan works at some of those local places? I think I saw signs in some of the establishments. We received all the dining-plan info in the mail, but I found it a bit confusing.
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  • mercymommercymom 1220 replies29 threads Senior Member
    The Panther funds can be used at a lot of the private eateries near campus. Look on the housing/dining page on the website and if you poke around there is a link to a list of who accepts panther funds. Right now I'm not sure if this is panther cash or dining dollars that they take, but the website for housing/dining will tell you. You can get panther funds/cash put on your id card that can be used on campus for food or non-food items (like the bookstore), and maybe these are the funds that can go off campus too. Like the list mentions stuff like CVS pharmacy and Blockbuster so that must be the panther funds, not the dining dollars.

    I know they can use regular cash to pay for stuff off campus, but sometimes in our family it's a way to control the budget, ie, cash that CAN"T be used for the mall, the movie theater, etc, and therefore is around to make sure you EAT.

    Oh, one more thing. It's a good idea to have some panther funds on the id card to use to do laundry. The laundry machines have card swipe machines so you don't have to have quarters. That makes the laundry process a whole lot easier (unless the card swipe thingy doesn't work! lol).
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  • bluejaybluejay 786 replies129 threads Member
    I had the exact same question about the potential isolation of Forbes. For some reason it's difficult for me to eliminate the picture of "walking to the dining hall" if you will, across the quad. Which brings another question: It's obvious there are many places to eat with or without panther points or what ever they are called. There seems to be an abundance of places on campus that are food courts with fast food options. Is there a traditional dining hall somewhere on campus?
    Will the new Marketplace at Towers be more of a traditional dining hall? I guess I'm only seeing fast food/unhealthy options. Not so much at breakfast or lunch but I do see going dinner as a real common bond for students.

    Thanks for any insights to the dorm/eating at Pitt. I really wish we had been able to see the inside of Forbes.
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  • LBPLBP 400 replies13 threads Member
    From what I understand, the Marketplace at Towers will be just that: a marketplace where all kinds of foods will be offered/pick-and-choose what you want/all-you-can-eat. I do beleive that there will be healthy options. The Panter Central website can explain more about the dining facilities. Unfortunately, the Marketplace is still under construction, and was not included in our tour of the Towers last Saturday. BTW, the basement of the Cathedral is tight but it offers food choices, and here we did find healthy salads, wraps, etc. So I think there's something for everyone - it'll just take time and a little investigating on the part of each student to find the place(s)that he/she most enjoys.
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  • Pat2323Pat2323 612 replies23 threads Member
    This should help you out, bluejay: http://www.pc.pitt.edu/dining/locations/
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  • Pat2323Pat2323 612 replies23 threads Member
    LurkNessMonster, this is a list of the local establishments that accept Panther Funds:

    http://www.pc.pitt.edu/card/merchantlist.html

    They accept Panther Funds, not meal plan points. Panther Funds is basically money you can put into an account that can be accessed by your student ID, so it is like a debit card.
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  • LurkNessMonsterLurkNessMonster 1932 replies83 threads Senior Member
    Pat, thank you for clarifying. I was confused about the difference between the cards. I'm sure my daughter will be wearing out her Panther Card in no time, especially if she lives in Forbes.
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  • Pat2323Pat2323 612 replies23 threads Member
    No problem. Here is more on the Panther Funds:

    http://www.pc.pitt.edu/card/funds.html
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