As an incoming freshman, one of the biggest choices you have to make is where to live. While UW-Madison does let you live in an apartment your first year, the dorms are the way to go. The best friendships I have at UW were formed from 6th Floor Smith, and I’m sure almost any UW student will tell you the same about their dorm. However, there’s two great neighborhoods to choose from, and I have the pros and cons for each.
The Southeast dorms include Sellery, Witte, Smith, Ogg, Merit, Bradley, and Chadbourne.
Pros: Great location: close to State Street, the Capitol, Humanities/Vilas, Bascom Hill. Stay connected to Madison as you live in the heart of the city. Gordon’s is a prime dining destination, but you also have a wide variety of restaurants nearby.
Cons: While the Southeast dorms are known as the “fun” dorms, the constant partying can be annoying at times. Combined with the noise of the city, it can be tough to get work done late at night.
Lakeshore dorms include Dejope, Bradley, Cole, Kronshage, Tripp, Adams, Elizabeth Waters, Phillips, Sullivan, Slichter, and Leopold.
Pros: It’s gorgeous out here. You’re right on the lake, there’s tons of beautiful scenery. Great for walks along the lake, pickup volleyball and soccer games, and just about any outside activity. It’s also secluded from downtown, so if that’s your thing, you belong here.
Cons: The nightlife scene isn’t as great as Southeast, but Lakeshore still knows how to have fun. It’s also a longer walk to the downtown area, but you’re still close to a lot of class buildings.