Thanks for the response Clone. Very helpful! Im not too familiar with the area. Will the Commons (commons west specifically) be extremely noisy most nights? If so, youd still recommend?
Because sale of alcohol after 1am is illegal in Tompkins county, the downtown dies around 1 am. You have the 2nd Floor Bar and Moonshine Tavern ("Moonies") in Commons West, which could cause some noise, but you'll either be in the library at school until later than 1am anyway, or you will be out at a bar in the Commons or in Collegetown until close.
If you're the type of person who needs 8 hours of sleep every night so you sleep 10pm-6am, it might be an issue. If you're not, it's perfectly fine. You'll either be working at school at that point anyway, too tired to care about noise, or out drinking at that time.
Downtown has some very decent bars that have good beer selection (Ithaca Alehouse, Bandwagon Brew Pub), and some total dives where you can pick up drunken Ithaca College girls (Moonies). Living outside of college town gives you a good chunk of change that you can dedicate to spending on booze every month. Totally worth it.
also "extremely noisy" is not how I would describe any part of ithaca at any time, except maybe at a frat house right before police come to cite them for noise violations. This would depend on what you're used to and what your basis of comparison is, but no, i would not describe downtown as noisy. If anything, it's nice to see some life and civilization at night.
edit: remember that Cornell is pretty much on a hill, and all housing is somehow downhill of the law school. Living on a bus route is a godsend your first year. You don't have to worry about it being too hot or raining or snowing because you'll be waiting in a covered, heated bust stop. the 10 normally has a bus idling at the bus stop at all times between 7 and 11 am.