One of the greatest things about being a freshman at UNH is your new lifestyle. Complete and total (well, almost) freedom, access to the amazing gym, meeting tons of people, and amazing all-you-can-eat food. Every. Single. Meal. But what’s even more exciting than new faces and loads of food is living at college. Your freshman dorm influences who you’re friends with, who you hook up with, and how your college story begins. So… no pressure. Picking the right dorm can seem stressful so here are the freshman dorms ranked from worst to best to help you decide.
5. Richardson House
Richardson Hall is part of the Minis, which are located in the Timbers. The Minis are small dorms that feel very homey and close-knit. Richardson is no different. Its size gives everyone a sense of community and it focuses on the First Year Experience, so Richardson is a good option if you’re on the shyer side or just like a quieter lifestyle. Richardson ranks as the worst of the freshman dorms, however, because even though it emphasizes the First Year Experience, it’s pretty far from the center of campus, downtown, dining halls, or other fun things. It also has the stereotype of being pretty “hippy central” so Richardson is not a dorm for everyone, especially if you’re looking to make a lot of friends as soon as you get to UNH.
4. Lord Hall
I have to admit, I love the aesthetic of Lord Hall’s entrance. It’s nestled in and just feels really cozy, which is similar to the atmosphere of the dorm life here. Lord is another small dorm with a super friendly community. It’s directly across from the Whitt, you can see the outdoor pool from your window, and it’s right by Stillings, so in terms of location, it’s close to some important places at UNH. It has nice, spacious lounges that are great for just hanging out or studying. Lord is just a nice place to be. The downside to Lord is that it’s small, but it’s much better than Richardson in terms of reputation and your exposure to new people.
2. Williamson and Christensen
I tried in vain to determine whether Williamson was better than Christensen or vice versa but alas, my research failed. And honestly, Williamson and Christensen are both great options for freshmen, regardless of which one is better. Both dorms are huge, allowing you to meet tons of other people going through the same transitions and experiences you are. They’re both seconds away from Philbrook, which is great if you want to be close to a dining hall. Otherwise, there’s not a ton going on near these dorms but because they’re so big, these are great dorms for meeting people and having an awesome freshman year experience.
1. Alexander Hall
Alexander Hall surprisingly comes in at number one. It’s not a dorm you hear being mentioned a lot, so it’s a sort of hidden gem. Alexander is very centrally located on campus and is close to essentially everything. Alexander shares its outdoor quad with a couple other res halls so you’re meeting people from other dorms as well as hanging with the freshmen living in Alexander. The catch is that Alexander is exclusively for undecided COLA students so unless you fall into that category, it’s tough to experience what it has to offer. Regardless, Alexander has the best location of all the freshman dorms, it’s small enough where you can sleep and study without being distracted easily, and it’s big enough where you can meet lots of freshmen in the same boat as you.
In the end, your dorm can only get you so far. You have to be willing to make friends, get involved and have fun in order for it to happen. No matter where you end up, look for fun opportunities around campus, be friendly (but not a doormat) to everyone, and just love being at UNH because it’s a great day to be a wildcat.