You may have seen another article here about some advantages to living on the Hill at UCLA. Sure, you’re required to as a freshman, but there are a lot of benefits. However, there are also a few reasons that, by the time your second year rolls around, you may want to consider options outside of on-campus housing.
1. Access Control
One of the major downsides of living in most residential buildings is also one of the upsides: the emphasis on security. Most buildings will have some sort of security check-in after around 9pm, which is great for keeping unwelcome people out. However, it also becomes very difficult to host guests (or come in after a night of partying) with a system like this. Guests must have a pass, from the front desk that may be several buildings away, plus a separate photo ID to be allowed in. A major party-mood killer.
2. Resident Assistants
Ah, the RAs. there’s definitely a chance you’ll have an RA that you will adore. She’ll make treats for the floor, host game nights, and check in on you just to make sure you’re doing okay. But there’s also an equal chance that you’ll have near-daily room inspections and nosey questions about your social life. RAs are a great help in transitioning to living on your own for the first time – things like solving roommate disputes and controlling volume – but after a year or two they can start to feel a bit like babysitters.
3. Restricted Items
As a young college student, you will probably run purely on coffee at some point or another. Wouldn’t it be nice to make a cup in your room in the middle of a 2am study sesh, rather than running to the Study and having to use a meal plan swipe? Sadly, the aforementioned RAs are likely to disagree. Sure, you can try hiding your forbidden Keurig, tea kettle, or other questionably allowed item, but you do run a risk of being written up and possibly disciplined.
One of the most obvious disadvantages to living on The Hill is the lack of privacy. First and foremost, it is likely that you’ll be using a communal bathroom and shower area, meaning carrying all of your personal items up and down the hallways. In addition, having three people living in a triple and sharing all spaces is a quick way to appreciate the minimal privacy you may have had while living at home. At least there, you could put a door between you and the rest of the world.
The expense of living on The Hill is tricky. It’s definitely expensive, but includes your utilities and meal plan. UCLA is located in the middle of several affluent neighborhoods, and it can be tough to get a cheap apartment, even with roommates, if you don’t want to live in university owned buildings at all or don’t know how to cook. But if you can budget your grocery costs and figure out a split on utilities with roommates, living off The Hill can be significantly cheaper, even half the cost.
So do all of these disadvantages really make it worth an apartment hunt? Maybe. Hopefully, both of these lists can help you to weigh out the pros and cons of life on the Hill and pick a housing situation that will suit you and your needs.