For most undergraduates, one of the most unforgettable components which make the college experience whole is life in the residence halls. Without it, four years of college really seem incomplete. The sheer convenience of living on campus is why even the lucky few whose families live close enough for them to commute are encouraged to look into on-campus housing as an option. For those from areas further away, there’s perhaps no easier way of settling into a life away from home than to share the experience with your classmates and colleagues. Halo marathons, midnight trips to McDonald’s, and synchronized homework procrastination are just some of the appealing side effects of living on campus. And with such an incredibly diverse college community like Illinois Tech’s, this invaluable experience is magnified multiple times. You meet people from countries you may not even be able to point out on a globe, with cultures and cuisines vastly different from your own. These experiences build on your character, and make you grow in ways your parents may never have imagined. In the end, it’s when you get that empty-stomach feeling on move out day when you truly look back and realize that every penny you paid for this experience was worth it. At IIT, living in MSV and SSV are two completely different experiences, each with their own pros and cons. The dorm structure and large common areas of MSV encourages dialogue and conversation between its residents, especially on the individual floors. Host to some of the biggest pianos and one of the largest television screens on campus, the MSV lounge area is famous for hosting ice cream socials and FIFA tournaments, mostly organized by the Resident Advisors. Close proximity to most academic buildings, the athletics center, and the cafeteria are major plusses. Resident’s mailboxes are also in MSV, making getting mail convenient. The only sore points of MSV are the lack of an elevator (which is a great way to beat that Freshman 15 weight gain!), smaller rooms, shared laundry rooms (Sunday nights are the worst times to do laundry. Keep that in mind and you will be fine!), and shared bathrooms (Which if you don’t try to shower ten minutes before the 8:35 AM class like the rest of the world, you will be fine.). If you’re looking for an open, welcoming, friendly, and richly diverse dorm experience, MSV is highly recommended. Suggestions? Pack light and get/rent a microfridge. If comfort is your number one priority, look no further than SSV. With a kitchen and laundry room on each floor, elevators, bigger rooms, a rooftop terrace to die for, a convenient location next to Crown Hall, and a bathroom in each suite that is shared with fewer people, SSV has a reputation for being the fancy dorms on campus. The SSV Resident Advisors have traditionally organized fantastic programs for their residents, which helps improve an environment which can be somewhat anti-social and much quieter than the hustle of MSV’s floor lounges and common areas. If you live in SSV, though, don’t let the “distance” from the athletics center be a deterrent to stop exercising in the cold winter months! SSV is close to the Green Line, so use that as an excuse to explore the city of Chicago. Also try to engage more with your floormates in the common kitchen areas, comfortable lounges, and by participating in the programs which the RAs organize. Gunsaulus Hall may also be an option for some of the eligible upperclassmen at the university. Gunsaulus has many apartments which allow students to step up from dorm life while still experiencing the convenience of living on campus and having access to the services that Residence and Greek Life provides. Combine that with the option of not having to purchase a meal plan, and it becomes clear why this hall is in high demand and fills up quickly. The views of Lake Michigan from the upper floors are worth waking up to every morning, and the combined package of independence with on-campus convenience makes Gunsaulus Hall an option definitely worth considering if one is eligible.