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During Freshman Orientation at UC Irvine, incoming students get a tour of the two different places that they will be spending the majority of their time- the dorms. There are two different undergraduate freshman dorms at UC Irvine. One of them is Middle Earth, and the other one is Mesa Court. Here are some pros and cons of living in Middle Earth at UC Irvine:

1. It has more options for food

Middle Earth has Brandywine and Pippin, which are the two cafeterias where students can eat. Many people from Middle Earth, including others from Mesa Court, flock to these cafeterias because they offer the best food for undergraduate students. In fact, you will often hear upperclassmen asking underclassmen if they can get swiped in so that the upperclassmen can enjoy the food as well. Pippin is more popular for breakfast options, while Brandywine is more popular for lunch, dinner, and late night snacks.

2. Extremely close to Social Sciences and Engineering Departments

Middle Earth is very close in distance to the Social Sciences and Engineering buildings, which definitely comes in handy if you have any classes in these buildings. Many people don’t realize that even if they are Biological Science majors or English majors, they will inevitably have a class discussion held in a Social Science classroom. Being so close to these buildings comes in handy when you have overslept for ten minutes and have to rush to class!

3. More Amenities

Middle Earth is not only filled with different dorms, but it also contains study rooms and a small gym that you can work out in later in the night. The fact that there are so many study rooms available allows for students to have a plethora of options to have study sessions, especially if it is too distracting or noisy inside the dorms. During finals week, the libraries are packed, but Middle Earth residents have an advantage to always having a secure study spot!

4. Awesome Theme

Middle Earth isn’t just a random name that UC Irvine gave its dorms. Middle Earth is actually where all of the Hobbits lived in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. All of the dorm buildings are named after different kingdoms in the book as well. Next time someone asks where you live and you answer “Rohan,” expect a puzzled expression on their face!

Middle Earth may not be as advanced as Mesa Court after their new remodelling that occurred in 2015-2016. However, it is a tight knit community with a fun theme. Middle Earth offers many amenities and puts students in the heart of the campus, where much of the day to day action takes place.


Ari Zaed