I absolutely loved the dorms at UCR. I am a social person and grew up with three other siblings, so lack of privacy and lots of noise was something I was accustomed to. Also, I shared a room with my sister my whole life so having a roommate was not foreign to me. I lived at Aberdeen-Inverness dorms, or AI for short. It is known to be the most social dorms at UCR. In each hall, there were about forty-six boys and girls with two to three students per room. I loved having a co-ed floor. I personally would not want to live with just girls. Too many girls stuck together causes a lot of unwanted drama and cattiness. Having both guys and girls keep each other in check. I have a lot of fond memories of living in the dorms and it was probably my favorite experience at UCR. Some people would stay up late at night and just talk or play games. If you were ever lonely or bored, you could just walk over to your friend's room and hang out with him or her. The dorms also plan events like dances and activities where you compete with other halls to earn points. The hall with the most points gets a free food party at the end of the quarter. Our hall won the first quarter and got free Subway. Another thing I loved about the dorms was eating together at the cafeteria. The food wasn't the best in the world, but sitting together and eating were great times to get to know each other better. My hall in particular, was very close and there would be at least fifteen of us sitting together eating lunch or dinner. There were mini food fights and eating competitions between us. Just some funny and great memories. I think it's very important that a first year should stay at the dorms. Commuters just don't get the same experience. It is not as easy to make friends with people in your classes. But in the dorms, it was an easy and instant way to make connections with others. Some people don't like living with others or sharing a room, but it is a valuable way to learn to get along with different kinds of people. You also learn a lot about yourself and how to respect others, especially your roommate. I found it a very worthwhile experience that every first year should have.
EAST LOTHIAN I am a proud ex-resident of EastLo. I loved that there were a lot of people in my hall (co-ed) to hang out with. The laundry room was on my floor (second floor) as well as the computer lab and the game room. What I liked the most about EastLo is that we can control the temperature of our own rooms whereas other dorms had a central air conditioning/heating. This was especially handy when I wanted it to be colder during the summer and warmer during the winter. There is also a huge lounge downstairs where residents of EastLo can watch TV and hang out. The rooms are the biggest on campus and the door is nice and heavy so you'll feel safe if you're in the room by yourself during the night. WEST LOTHIAN I used to visit WestLo sometimes because my friend lived there. The rooms are decently sized, maybe a little smaller than EastLo's. There are the same amount of people in your hall, maybe a little less, than EastLo. Bathrooms seemed kind of small. The laundry room is in the basement. Both West Lothian and East Lothian have easy access to the Lothian Dining Hall. Both residence halls also share a mini market that sells ice cream and snacks. PENTLAND The halls are definitely smaller. There are eight people to one hall and the eight of you have two bathrooms which is actually really convenient. You even have a little stove and fridge so you can cook and store things that don't fit in your mini fridge. If you want to meet more people, you have to open the main door to your hall so that other people in your building can hang out with you (1 building has eight halls total. 8 halls times 8 people each equals 64 people in a building). Each building has a study lounge with a TV and the laundry room is inside the building. You can choose between the Lothian Dining Hall or the AI Dining Hall for food.; There's also Scotty's when you get hungry and their dessert sandwiches are BOMB. AI I don't know much about A-I except their dining hall has better food than Lothian. There are a lot of study rooms plus there's a mini store there for all your late night munchie needs.
Each dorm at UCR is different, and they all have their obvious pros & cons. I live in Aberdeen-Inverness (A-I til I die!) and I absolutely love it! A-I is, in my opinion, the most social residence hall on campus, with events going on every day. Each individual hall is set up in a straight line of rooms, which allows for better interaction between rooms. It is the oldest dorm, though, so the bathrooms & laundry rooms are a bit out-of-date. The showers aren't very warm in A-I, and the hot water is turned off on the weekends. You also can't control the hot or cold air in each individual room, so it may be a bit uncomfortable sometimes. The rooms are very tall, though, so they seem really big! East Lothian is a newer residence hall on the other side of campus, and seems almost like a hotel, in my opinion. It's not as social as A-I, but the bathrooms are much nicer and each room has individual A/C. The rooms have very low ceilings, so they often seem stuffy and small. West Lothian is often referred to as "the worst" dorm on campus. They're laid out similarly to East Lothian in regards to their rooms and amenities, but for some reason it seems like a prison. No one seems happy living in West Lo, they would much prefer East Lo! Pentland Hills is UCR's newest dorm, and is suite-style. The downside to Pentland is that it's really lacking in a social atmosphere. There are 6 people of the same gender in each suite, and there are over a dozen buildings in Pentland. Pentland doesn't have it's own dining hall, but each floor is equipped with a stove & oven to cook.
There are three major dorm buildings- Pentland, AI, and Lothian. Pentland is the most expensive and also the most secure. You share two bathrooms with about 6 other people of your own sex, and to get into your room you need to unlock three doors. Many people didn't like their experience in Pentland because it was too anti social. However, if you are someone who enjoys privacy, then Pentland is the dorm for you. AI is very social, common areas are always filled and the bathrooms are shared by people of both sexes. It is also a good location, right in between campus and the gym. Lothian is the most inexpensive dorm to live in. Many students complained that it was dirty, old, or falling apart. Lothian also houses the biggest dining hall, where most students, even from Pentland and AI go to eat.
The dorms are where most of the socializing goes on for Freshman students. I live in the East Lothian Residence Hall and I love it. It's pretty social, but also quite. It's very nice. The rooms in every residence hall has a microwave and a refrigerator. There is one bathroom for each gender in every hall. The bathrooms generally have at least four stalls and four showers. I have friends who stay in the AI Residence Hall and that is the most social residence hall on campus. Pentland Hills is also offered, but it is a little more expensive than the other residence halls. It's very nice though. They are the newest dorms. If you are a quiet person who likes your own space then Pentland is definitely the residence hall for you.
Rooms meant for 2-4 (depending on the price) people collected into halls with one bathroom, one, maybe two showers. Each room has a desk and there is a common area with a tv and cooking stuff. To get in, you need a key. There isn't supposed to be booze there (it is a dry campus, after all). As I recall, there is only halfway a curfew, meaning that you should be in by time X, but it doesn't really matter if you're not. That's about all I can remember about them from the time I was there. There are appartments closer to campus, as the dorms are around a 6 minute walk uphill from the main body of campus.
I've never personally stayed in the dorms. What I've seen and been told is that there's a large bon created with roommates and hall mates. I've often heard students say that the people they hang out with most are those they shared a hall with in the dormitories. Being in the dorms itself there's a lot of games and activities and events that are held to bring fun. Also students staying in the dorms have meal plans for when they want to eat and there are plenty of places to study and do homework besides the rooms.
The dorms can be clean at times. I lived in East Lothian when i dormed and it wasn't bad, but the bathrooms can get pretty nasty and they always seemed to be cleaning the carpet which made the whole hall smell like wet socks, but other than that it wasn't bad. The dorms aren't that big, they're about the size of a regular dorm. Each dorm has 2 beds, one on each side, and a desk thats right next to the bed. If you get lucky you can get the bed with the window cause some times the air conditioner doesn't work.
The dorms at UCR are amazing. Inclusive, fun and always helpful. There are numerous programs throughout the year providing academic tips, fun, FREE FOOD, games and music. The RAs are there to guide you in all aspects and hallmates forge very strong bonds. The best dorm in my opinion is East Lothian, but they all have their own special qualities and all harbor amazing and friendly students ready to make friends and attack life.
I Live in Lothian which was the second building to the school. Its relatively big room wise compared to the other buildings and not hard to make friends because we are all connected. Pentland is nice if you like a suite type of room but its a little more expensive then A-I or Lothian. A-I i believe is the more classical style dorms and very nice and convenient because it is the closest to the school