Honors Housing Overview

It’s almost that time again, where we have about a month left before school starts. That’s probably the last thing you want to hear (because the end of summer is nigh!) or something you don’t mind hearing at all, but I don’t come bearing only this news. For all of you in the Honors Program who’re looking for a place to stay, Honors housing comes to the rescue.

There’s four places currently available: Brett Hall, McCormick Hall, Jameson Hall, and Lynton Towers – North, Top Floor. The Housing section on the SAS Honors Website has more detailed explanations.

Maybe you want a peek into what it’s like to stay with others in the Program, as this is your first year on campus or part of the Program. Maybe you’re already living in Honors housing but want to know what it’s like to live in other Honors housing. Maybe you’re not in Honors housing but are curious to read others’ experiences. Maybe you’re just plain curious. Whatever the reason, you’re welcome to glean any advice and/or experiences our bloggers have to share with you. Here’s what our bloggers had to say about living in Honors Housing!

Brett Hall:

Pros

  • Great community – people are the perfect balance of work and play. (Monica Sung)
  • Super convenient – a five-minute walk from the SAC or student center, stops all of the buses run through. (M.S.)
  • WE HAVE A FORMAL – if you’re so fancy, and you already know – it’s a ton of fun dressing up with your friends and dancing the night away – this year’s theme was James Bond! (M.S.)
  • You’re only a walk away from Easton Ave and George Street where you can find just about any type of food. Think coffee, pizza, Thai food, ice cream, bubble tea, falafel… (Anya Volski)
  • There is a train station downtown – my friends and I have planned spontaneous trips to NYC and Princeton and have had incredible adventures! (A.V.)
  • Our own personal study lounge aka the Slounge – it is the designated space for cramming for exams, finishing up homework without distraction, or just some nice peace and quiet. It’s great knowing there’s a place to work in the dorm without any distraction or noise – everyone respects this space.

Cons

  • Your most convenient dining hall is Brower (which you may learn to love :D). (M.S.)
  • It can get noisy at times – which could get annoying at times, but this honestly doesn’t happen during midterms or finals, because we all respect each other. And besides, more often than not, you’re going to be the one being noisy… (M.S.)
  • NO AC – this is really awful for the first and last 2 weeks of the year, but it’s dealable. Coordinate with your roommate and get several fans! (M.S.)
  • Sharing the bathroom with a lot of other people. You get used to this after a while, and honestly I could always find an open shower. (M.S.)
  • The knowledge that there are always friends hanging out right down the hall may make it difficult to focus from time to time, depending on the person. However, this actually helped me to form better study habits in the long run, because I am now able to comfortable study while in the comfort of my room, no matter what is happening outside of my door. (M.S.)

Personal Experiences:

Brett Hall is an amazing place to live freshman year. Upon moving in, you’re told that Brett has an open door policy to foster friendships and to get people talking–whether you’re leaving your door open because of the policy or because of the ridiculous heat, it was a fantastic way to meet people. I easily became close friends with more than half of the people on my floor. Brett’s community feel is really great–people were always willing to help each other out, whether it’s working through some hard problem sets in orgo, sending you the pdf of the mandatory, yet unnecessarily expensive textbook, or even having someone to get dinner with. Brett understands the strength of it’s community and thrives on it. Brett was also the perfect mix of work and play. All my friends were serious about school, yet knew when to have fun. As a crazy and probably too hardworking type A that would never stop studying, I felt great knowing that I would always have friends sitting in the lounge that would force me to stay with them and not obsess over every little detail of my work. They really balanced me out and showed me that in college you learn the most, not from your classes, but from the amazing people you meet and the enlightening conversations you have. Living in Brett has been the best part of my life at Rutgers so far–and I can’t wait to continue living there next year! (M. S.)

MonicaFormal

My friends and me being fabu at formal! (M.S.)

Although it is designed to give you the “dorm” experience, Brett isn’t your typical college dorm. You get to know just about everyone on your floor and other floors–I always saw it more as a big family. Every time I visited my friends at other dorms, I was horrified by how little everyone knew about each other! Brett was the complete opposite. Just keep your door open and introduce yourself to people in the hallways and you’ll make a ton of new friends in a few days. You’ll likely be living near upperclassmen so don’t shy away from asking them for advice. Even though I don’t live in Brett anymore, I live in a house with all of my Brett friends and keep in touch with the upperclassmen that welcomed me when I was a freshman! Brett Hall made my college experience. (A.V.)

I completely agree with Anya’s post about Brett feeling more like a giant family as opposed to just floor-mates and people who live in your dorm. To add to that, it was great living with upperclassmen, which freshmen who choose to live in freshmen-inclusive dorms don’t really get a chance to experience. Personally, there have been so many times when I would freak out about classes, choosing the right professors, or even just figuring out where buildings were, and there was always a sophomore to not just answer my questions, but also pacify my anxiety. I loved knowing there were people right across the hall from me who could help me 24/7 if I needed it because they were in my shoes just a year ago. (Fairooz Khondker)

I can only reiterate what the previous Brett Hall residents have said. Brett is truly an amazing place to hang out, study, and live. Coming to school from out of state last fall, a traditional style dorm with shared bathrooms and a sense of community were important factors in my housing decision, because I didn’t know a single person at Rutgers. Though I would have been close to suitemates in an apartment style dorm like McCormick, I was looking for the experience of living in a hall with a sense of community that reached the entire building, whether is an organized event like Tie-Dye Day during Floor Wars, or simply a spontaneous dorm-wide snowball fight during the first snowfall of the semester. My first year at Rutgers never would have been the same if I had lived in any other of the residence halls. I do have to admit that Brett had its downsides, as some of the other bloggers have mentioned, but the incredible friendships I have formed within its halls far outweigh the lack of air conditioning and shared bathrooms. If I had to have a do-over of my freshmen housing decision, I would choose Brett Hall time and time again. (Madeline Padner)

MadelinePad

Brett Hall: Post snowball fight!!! (M.P.)

As a former Brett resident who lived there for 2 years, I absolutely agree with everyone else that staying in this dorm really set the tone for my experience here at Rutgers. On the first day alone, an open door policy is encouraged to meet the residents on your floor, which helps create a friendly and comfortable environment that lasts all semester. Brett also has awesome community spirit during dorm wide events (see the picture of our beautiful homecoming window) and has had great programs in the past such as BrettTalks, Brett Formal and Mr. Brett Hall. Also, the Slounge occasionally doubles as a classroom, so if you’re in an honors seminar, you may just have to walk downstairs to go to class, which is extremely convenient and pretty cool. All in all however, the best part of Brett is the friendships you form with your neighbors, your floor, and, quite honestly, the entire dorm. I’ve made my closest friends at Rutgers with people from Brett (some who are now my housemates!) and would encourage everyone to choose this wonderful place as their home freshman year. (Hina Walajahi)

HinaW

Our fabulous Homecoming window! (H.W.)

McCormick Hall:

Pros

  • Suite setup – All the suites have their own bathroom, living room, and adjustable air conditioning!

Cons

  • Because of the apartment-like nature of the suite, it can be kind of quiet and maybe a little harder to get to know your neighbors than a typical dorm building.

Jameson Hall: 

Unfortunately, none of our bloggers have lived here. But for more information on this dorm, you can go here!

Lynton Towers:

Pros

  • The Towers are a great place to meet new people and experience the college life. With eight floors on each tower, this dorm has people with similar interests that you are bound to meet. (Emilie B.)
  • In addition, the towers include a coffee house on the ground floor where you can meet up with your friends, play board games, and study. Back when I used to live there, the Resident Assistants would also serve ice tea, water, and sometimes hot chocolate during the evenings. It was great returning from a late night class and being able to grab a free drink. (E.B.)
  • The towers have a common area where you can find some quiet in case you are looking for a place to study. My favorite place to hangout with friends, was the basement. Back when I lived in the towers, we always used to go down and play air hockey or pool. There is also a large flat screen tv where people used to gather to watch sport matches. (E.B.)
  • Another advantage of the towers is that you are in the best spot in Livingston. You are only a two-minute walk from the student center and library, and a five-minute walk from the dining hall. Unlike my friends living in the quads who needed to walk around ten minutes to get anywhere on Livingston, the Towers always placed me in an ideal spot. (E.B.)

Cons

  • The towers are pretty old, and so a lot of the rooms aren’t as modern as other residence halls. The one thing I wish I had been told before moving in, was that the rooms only had a small ceiling fan. I used to live on the eighth floor–the hottest floor. After a few nights of sweating myself to sleep, I realized that I needed to get a larger fan. So do not forget to invest in a powerful fan!!! (E.B.)
  • Another con for me was that it got quite noisy during the evenings. Oftentimes quiet hours were not respected and I would not be able to fall asleep until 2-3 A.M. If you are a light sleeper and are struggling with the noise, I would advise you to invest in a pair of good earplugs. From my own experiences, I found that as the semester progressed, it got quieter as people began to study for exams and it was a lot easier to fall asleep at night. (E.B.)

And there you have it! We hope that this post was informative, and gave you a better idea of what to expect from these dorms.

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