Orchard Hill is the best place to live at UMass. Period.
I understand that’s a controversial statement. Depending on who you ask on campus, the answer to which residential area is best will be different. Most people would say Southwest. It is, after all, the biggest and most social area on campus. There’s also Central, which is located in an ideal location in the (you guessed it) center of campus. And we can’t forget about Northeast, near the engineering buildings. But in my humble opinion, Orchard Hill is number one. Here’s why:
Parties and friends are great, but constant social interaction can be exhausting. I consider myself a social person, but even I need time to myself, whether it be for studying, relaxing, or sleeping. In Orchard Hill, you get the best of both worlds. Being on the hill, you’re kind of secluded from the constant hustle and bustle of the main campus area. There are always quiet spaces, and you rarely have to worry about noise near your dorm room. And when it’s time to come out of your cave, you don’t have to go down the hill to find something to do. Plenty of people live here so there is always someone to hang out with. On weekend nights, the hill is covered with people sitting in circles and talking. Some will complain that there’s no dining hall in Orchard Hill, but we don’t need one. We have Sweets & More, a student-run business that’s open on weekday nights. There’s also always a Baby Berk food truck on some corner.
Now I will admit, the hill you have to walk up to get to Orchard Hill is daunting and, honestly, exhausting. But it’s really not that bad when you get used to it. It just becomes part of the routine. And all that walking will give you some of the best calves on campus. That’s a guarantee.
I love Orchard Hill. I’m also one person going to a school with thousands of people. There’s bound to be many people who completely disagree with me. And that’s completely fine. I encourage you to take the time and explore some of the residence options and find which one you like best. And I promise, no matter where you live, you will find people you like and have the time of your life.