For all those second semester high school seniors out there, congrats! You’re almost done! And for all those seniors out there who have already decided to go to Luther and submitted your deposit, congrats! Now that you’ve made such an enormous decision, I’m sure you think your work is done, but it is nearing time to make another big decision: where to live during your freshman year at Luther.
If you want to know all the basics about the three first year resident halls, Brandt, Olson, and Ylvisaker, you can find out on the res life website. And if you really want to know about what the first year resident halls are like, keep reading.
I currently live in Brandt on the third floor east side (shout out to my girls in B3E!) so I definitely have a bias. But my hope for this blog is that I will honestly spell out some of the pros and cons of each resident hall.
I’ll start with Olson. While Brandt and Ylvisaker are exclusively freshman, Olson is also home to upper-class housing. I have an awesome group of friends who all live in Olson, so I spend a fair amount of time around there. The best part of Olson is probably the room size of triples. Both Brandt and Olson have doubles and triples, but all my friends in Olson live in triples while I live in a triple in Brandt. While the closets in Olson are smaller than those in Brandt, the triples are significantly bigger. All of my friends in Olson seem pretty happy, although I joke with them a lot about how it is to live “off-campus.” The biggest drawback to Olson is that the hall is on the edge of campus so it is definitely a bit farther to get to places like the Regents Center (the Athletic building) and Valders (the Science building). Yet living on such a small campus, everything is relative; for me a 10 minute walk to get to class is far but not for my friends at big state schools who endure 30-45 minute walks.
On to Ylvisaker! Ylvisaker or “Ylvi” (pronounced Ill-vee) is the smallest of the 3 first-year halls. It only has doubles and it does not have built in closets like Olson and Brandt. Known to be the first-year hall of mainly athletes, the best part about Ylvi is that it is really close to the Regents Center. The biggest negative of Ylvi is the dorm sizes. Unlike the spacious doubles in Brandt, Ylvi’s doubles are pretty tiny. For those who struggle to be organized, the small rooms are a nightmare. But if you’re a Pinterest fanatic who has already been looking up all the “20 best dorm-room storage tips” then the smaller room should not be a problem.
Last, but certainly not least, Brandt! In my honest opinion, Brandt is by far the best of the first-year halls. It is basically in the center of campus, so everything is super accessible, especially Jensen-Noble (the music hall that’s literally right outside my dorm window). It takes me about 3-5 minutes to walk to Valders, Sampson-Hoff, the Union, and the CFL and about 60 seconds to get to the library or the CFA. Regents is the only place that is a bit of a hike (about 8-10 minutes), but again what constitutes a “hike” is relative. The rooms (doubles, triples and quads) are all very good sizes with very spacious closets. And to top it all off, the majority of the freshman live in Brandt, so it gives you a chance to meet both a huge variety and huge quantity of different people.