This year, now that I’m not a freshman, I’m living in an apartment at University Greens with two friends. I moved in about seven weeks ago. Actually, when I first arrived, they put me in the wrong apartment at first—so after I had moved in and had mostly unpacked all my stuff, I had to relocate to the floor above. When I first moved in, it was strange and new, and I thought the first room had been nicer. But now I’ve settled into it, and it feels cozy.
University Greens is organized into scattered, three-story buildings, each with four apartments on each floor. Mine has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room area, and a small kitchen. The outside looks rather like a large house, covered with tasteful siding (blue and dull yellow) and red brick. The buildings have gables and sloped rooves. The area around the buildings is grassy and interspersed with trees, giving it a neighborhood feel.
Many other apartment complexes (e.g., Millenium) take the form of towering, broad buildings full of many suites. However, UGreens seems to avoid the concentrated structure, instead using noticeably house-like buildings.
Although they’re apartments, the exterior looks just like a large house. I think it’s nice; it creates a homey atmosphere, and makes it feel a little more personal. The mere size of the dorms made them feel impersonal; because I was assigned one little compartment in this vast array of neatly organized compartments, it didn’t really feel like my own. The apartment feels more private, my own personal space.
Part of the feeling, I’m sure, derives merely from having my own room. I have a private living room, where I can relax with my close friends, and I also have my own room, to the side, which is totally mine. It’s not large, but I can take ownership of it, and it feels safe, secure, and set apart. That’s really important for college apartments. As students, our apartments are a huge part of the beginning of our adult lives. Far more than when I was in the dorms, I’m now independent and on my own. I think the house-like appearance is much better than the compartment-like arrangement of other complexes because it helps students to feel more independent and to be able to feel ownership of their living space.