Pitt’s declassified dorm survival guide
A guide to the most talked about dorms on campus that would make Ned Bigby proud.
Figuring out what dorm you're going to spend the year in can be pretty stressful. You want a room with a view, but then you also want lots of space. Then, you have to think about dealing with communal showers or not, or how close you are to your classes. The list goes on and on.
It's very important to choose the dorm that best fits your needs. Luckily for you, we've put together a biography of each residence to give you the inside scoop on the most talked about dorms on campus, and hopefully ease your worries.
Nordenberg is the newest dorm on campus, housing 559 freshman women and men. Each floor comes with two seperate lounges, two study rooms, and two different RAs. Each floor also contains a communal showering space, and while showering and brushing your teeth with other people can be absolutely dreadful, the quality of the bathrooms makes it very tolerable.
As for the dorms, students get the option of living in a double or a triple room, all of which are pretty spacious. Nordenberg also has a pretty cool patio area, where many events are held by the RA staff. Overall, it's the most luxurious living arrangement a freshie could have. Plus, the Student Health Center is located inside of the building on the second floor, so if you get sick, you're right there by the doctors.
There are three different dormitories within Litchfield Towers- Tower A, Tower B, and Tower C, but they all converge into one lobby. Combined, they all house 1,868 students. While Towers A and B house mostly first year students, Tower C hosts mostly upperclassmen. Towers A and B offer doubles as rooming options, and Tower C offers strictly singles rooms.
The towers arent known for their luxury, and are typically the last choice for students. Living in Towers comes with quite a few issues including grimy communal bathrooms, the tiny prison-cell sized rooms, and long lines to sign in guests on the weekends. Trust me, nobody really wants to live in any of the towers.
The up side? Market Central and Market To Go are inside the same building, so you don't need to bundle up to eat in the winter. Towers Lobby is home to Panther Central, and the occasional after party. If you're there around 1-2 a.m., just as all the parties have been shut down for the night, and everybody is drunkenly on the prowl for food, you'll find the afterparty of all afterparties.
Oh Suthy, my old home. Sutherland as a whole houses about 740 freshmen, and is divided into two seperate wings, Sutherland East and Sutherland West. While Sutherland East is home to many freshman athletes along with non-athlete women and men, Sutherland West strictly houses freshmen who are in the Honors College LLC.
Suthy, in my opinion, has the best bathroms, because unlike all of the other freshman dorms, they are NOT communal. Communal bathrooms have always made me think of prison movies, and thankfully while living in Sutherland, I never had to live that reality. With a range of rooming options from doubles to suite styles, you'll only ever have to share a bathroom with a handful of people, at most.
However, because it's on upper campus, you will be waking up earlier to get to classes on time, becuase the 10A can be very unreliable. Not to mention, in the winter months, it gets very tough travelling from upper campus to lower campus. Fortunately, one of the perks is that when it really snows, you can use the parking lot next door to go sledding, and there's usually a group of students making snow angels and having snowball fights by the Pete. Suthy is also home to The Perch, which is the superior alternative to Market. The Perch hosts pancake nights every Wednesday, which are open to all students. Also, they now provide upper campus with Panther Central access!
Honestly, Panther Hall wins at life, solely based off of architecture. I mean, have you seen those huge windows, and the beautiful stairs, like it looks like something off of HGTV. I always dreamed of living in Panther Hall, because it was just so pretty.
Panther Hall is home to 511 upperclassmen women and men. While its location on upper campus does put you pretty far away from the happenings of lower campus, it does come with it's own coffee cart, and several amenities, like a fitness center, and a refrigerator and microwave that you don't have to buy yourself. I've honestly never heard of anybody complaining when they lived in Panther, so I feel like it's probably amazing. Cheers to you if you get the opportunity to live there!
Oh Lothrop, such a hot mess, I don't even know where to start. Before we delve into the many shortcomings of Lothrop, lets start with the basic info. Lothrop houses 723 men and women, from freshmen to upperclassmen, it doesn't discriminate. It is also home to the Nursing LLC, and has a skywalk that connects to the School of Nursing in the Victoria Building, which is actually pretty cool.
Lothrop offers mostly single rooms, with a few double rooms dispersed throught the building. I've been inside a single in there, and let me tell you, it is small. Like, I know I've referenced prison cells many times, but these rooms really come the closest to resembling them, with the tiny wet sinks near the entryway of the dorms. It also doesn't help that they, too, have communal style showers, so there isn't a whole lot of privacy there.
I've heard many horror stories about Lothrop. For example, there isn't any air conditioning in the dorms, so residents just have to suffer through those first few blistering months of the semester, and thoses chilly months in the winter. There have also been tales of the water system being turned off for a few days, because of the constant construction, and students having to be reimbursed after the fact. However, Lothrop is located less than a minute from UPMC, which is excellent in cases of emergency, so that's a positive. Also, it looks kinda of fun!
Commonly referred to as "Helland" or "Holland Hell", Holland Hall has it's highs and lows. It is a newly coed dorm, as it used to be strictly for young ladies (RIP Hoeland), housing 600 freshman girls and boys. Holland has been known to have a few issues like the tiny elevators occasionally breaking down, and the lack of an air conditioning system, not to mention the old-school communal bathrooms with dingy tubs in them that remind you of the Victorian Age.
It offers singles, doubles, triples, and quads, so residents have plenty of rooming options to choose from. Because Holland is divided into a North and South wings, residents can have a fun time running through the halls from wing to wing. If you use your imagination it can seem like an adventure. One of the major perks of living in Holland, is that you are smack dab in the middle of all the campus activities. Many sororities are housed in the same little square, Bigelow Bash is right around the corner, there's a petting zoo that comes right outside of there. Not to mention, the annual Holland Hall hosted haunted house, which is always really well executed. Two years ago, they did an American Horror Story theme, and I've gotta say it was pretty dope.
Bouquet Gardens; the place to be on a Friday or Saturday night if you don't have any other moves. You're always guaranteed to find a party happening in one of the buildings, at least before 1 am, becuse that's when the cops start shutting everything down. Bouquet, also sometimes referred to as Bucket, is made up of 10 buildings, A-J, and offers apartment style living to students on campus. All of them, except for J, offer strictly four-person bedrooms, with a full kitchen, and they all come fully furnished.
Bouquet J, while fully furnished like all the others, offers not only four bedroom apartments, but also three person and two person apartments. They come fully furnished, and with a full kitchen as well. I lived in Bouquet C, and it was a great experience. It allows you to get that first apartment experience, but with the security of knowing you can call Panther Central for any problem you may have. However, while the parties can be a plus when you're looking for a fun night out, they can also be a huge negative when you're actually living there. Imagine, you're trying to study for a huge calc exam that's worth 25% of your grade, and some football player is throwing a banger on the floor beneath yours, tragic. Truly tragic.
Whichever dorm you are assigned, don't fret. Every dorm comes with its own benefits and drawbacks, so you'll be fine wherever you end up. Whether you get indoor access to Market or a fully furnished apartment, the people you meet and the beautiful campus will make for an amazing experience.