annyong wrote:I've been thinking about going with on-campus housing for the first year for cost and convenience sake, I know there's a lottery involved, can anyone speak to an incoming 1Ls chances of getting what they want? Any other insight on housing in general would also be great, I'm not 100% set on Cambridge but I'd say it's about at 90
Current 1L living in Gropius, and I've been extremely happy with my housing choice thus far. The convenience factor is great. Time is of the essence in your first year, so being able to roll out of bed and head straight to class without a long commute has been awesome. It's also nice to have a home-base throughout the day where you can head to relax, switch your books, or eat a quiet lunch.
The atmosphere in Gropius is pretty chill too. I was expecting a really social, party-it-up vibe, but that hasn't been the case at all. It's usually quiet, but you can always swing by a friend's room to chat or whatever. Overall it's been a nice balance.
And the cost is unbeatable. Not only is the rent dirt cheap for Cambridge, (I think it comes down to a little less than $700 per month with utilities included) but you're only on the hook for nine months. So there's no need to worry about subleasing if you work elsewhere in the summer.
The downside is that you're in a fairly ugly and small dorm room. If aesthetics are important, or if you absolutely need your own private bathroom, then find something else. Personally, it took me a little while to adjust to this because I had been living in my own apartment for the past several years. But once you get used to this stuff, it's really no big deal.
As far as the lottery, I don't think you'll have any problem getting a spot in Gropius, if that's what you're looking for. I can't really speak for Hastings or North, although I know they're a bit more in demand.
Good luck with the choice and congrats on HLS! It's an awesome place! (Even during finals lol.)