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Written by Meegan Brooks
Most students associate the dorms with freshman year. Sophomores have the option to apply for second-year housing, but most opt to live off campus because it is less expensive and offers more freedom. Although incoming freshmen are asked about their lifestyles and housing preferences, so many students prefer the Units (Units 1, 2, and 3) that there isn't enought room to accommodate everyone who requests it. That said, social students in Stern, Bowles, or Foothill are sure to let you know that they “got stuck there.” Clark Kerr’s Spanish missionary architecture and Harry Potter-style dining hall offer the Ivy rejects some consolation and seem to attract many of Cal’s wealthier students.
Even though roommates are randomly matched, most pairs get along fine. The Units and Clark Kerr are all coed and have coed bathrooms, which means showering, brushing your teeth, and going to the bathroom next to your new neighbors—so everyone become family very quickly. To add to the social atmosphere, the Units are also closest to Telegraph Avenue—arguably the "Berkeleyest" part of Cal—and to the Greek system, which dominates the freshman-year party scene. Whether or not you love your roommate or housing location, it’s hard not to appreciate dorm life as a central part of freshman year. Most people make friends with people on their floor, and will say hi to people from their freshman dorm even as a senior. The dorm is a safety net, of sorts because even if your dormmates aren’t your best friends, it’s still nice to see familiar faces on campus and have people to sit with at Crossroads.
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