The best floor to live on in a dorm room is not the first floor or the highest floor — it’s the middle floor. Or what I call “the glorious middle ground.” Here’s why:
Avoid the First Floor: It Sucks for Multiple Reasons
There are multiple reasons why the first floor is not the best floor to live on in a dorm.
For one, the first floor gets infested with roaches, lizards, and other disgusting pests more often than any other floor because rooms on the first floor are the closest to the ground.
And if your refrigerator gets a little messy, your room becomes a little crumby, or you abandon your garbage for a few days, the bugs will smell it from a mile away and find cracks in the floors and the walls to access the food.
When I was living in the dorms, students living on the first floor of the dormitory ALWAYS complained about cockroaches invading their space.
Even with the best pest control company, with so many college students living in the dormitory, it’s hard to tame these creatures.
The second reason why you should avoid living on the first floor of a dorm is the constant noise you’ll have to suffer through from the students living above you.
Unfortunately, College dormitories are known for having poor thin walls.
You will hear noise from students living above you when they are playing music, arguing with another roommate, and just walking about in the dorm.
And if the dorm room above you is having a party, forget about it. You won’t be able to hear yourself talk. The music, the foot traffic, and the vibrations coming from the music upstairs will completely takeover your room.
For this reason, if you enjoy studying in your room or you like to go to bed early at night, you’ll want to avoid this floor completely or you’ll have some big problems.
The third reason why the first floor is not the best floor to live on in a dorm is the foot traffic coming from the stairs.
If you become unlucky and get assigned to the dorm beside the stairs, you will hear traffic all day and all night long.
Because you are on the first floor and every student has to climb the first-floor stairs to get to their room on the second floor, third floor, fourth floor, and beyond.
Besides the traffic, stairwells are also a common place for students looking to fight.
Unlike many other parts on-campus that are filled with students walking to and from class, has on-campus cameras, and security, the stairwells are often abandoned with poor surveillance.
As such, at night when foot traffic is light or nonexistent, the stairwell becomes the perfect place to settle a fight. Unfortunately, it will mean an incredibly bad night for you.
So avoid the first floor like the plague.
The Highest Floor Is Not A Great Floor Either
Unfortunately, the highest floor is no the best floor to live on in a dorm either.
Yes, you’ll see fewer bugs.
Yes, you’ll hear fewer noises because you live on the top floor.
And yes, you’ll have amazing views of the campus and beyond if you live in a dormitory sky-scraper.
But after watching 9/11 go down, I will never be the same (and you shouldn’t be either.) Call me paranoid, but ANYTHING could happen.
If a fire starts in your building, the elevators are down, and you can’t access the stairs, how will you get down safely living on the 10th floor?
Jumping? No, jumping out the window will mean suicide.
That is why you should avoid the top floor, there is no win-win situation.
Fun Fact: A fire did break out in my dormitory during my freshman year on campus.
The Middle Floor is The Best Floor to Live On in a Dorm
This leads me to my reason why the middle floor is the best floor to live on in a dorm.
If you live on a middle floor–let’s say the 3rd floor–you’re high enough off the ground that you won’t see as many bugs, but low enough that if you are in a do-or-die situation, you can jump out without killing yourself.
And jumping out of your window won’t have to be your only option if you find yourself in an emergency, do-or-die situation.
You’re not too high off the ground so you could tie your clothes together and create a makeshift rope to make the descent easier.
Of course, if the highest floor in your building is the second, third, or fourth floor, then this is a moot issue. Feel free to live on those floors.
But don’t go higher than the fourth floor.
Fun Fact: The highest floors in my dormitory was the fourth floor (“Panther hall”) and the second floor (“The Apartments”). (Click on Photos to see what they look like ? ) I lived on the top floor of both dormitories because they were low enough to the ground if I had to escape through a window during an emergency.
The second reason why the middle floor is the best floor to live on in a dorm is that you have more than one way to access your room.
If there are tons of students waiting to take the elevator and you don’t want to wait, you can take the stairs since you won’t have as many to climb as other students.
You’ll get to your room within minutes and perhaps faster than if you took the elevator.
Having the option to take the stairs or the elevator also works out in the reverse: If you are running late for class and don’t want to be held up by the elevator taking multiple stops at other floors, you can take the stairs and get to class more quickly.
If you lived on the 13th floor of your dormitory, however, you’d be screwed or stuck waiting for an elevator.
You won’t want to climb up or down thirteen flights of stairs with a backpack full of books, laundry, or a bag full of groceries.
Finally, the middle floors are often where designated study rooms are held and where social events are hosted (in a separate blocked-off room of course). So you’ll be nearer to the hot spots if you live on the middle floor.
For this reason, the middle floor provides a happy medium between first-floor nightmares and high-floor problems:
- Fewer bugs
- Less noise
- A real way to escape in case of an emergency
- two ways to access your room
- A short walk to study rooms and social dorm events
If you want the best dorm experience ever, then choose a dormitory where the second, third, or fourth floor is the highest floor and your dorm room is away from any stairwells or elevators.
The middle room on the middle floor is ideal.
There you are. Now you know the best floor to live on in a dorm.
Need help deciding what to pack for your dorm room? Then check out the ultimate college dorm packing list and learn the 11 dorm essentials you cannot live without. I promise you won’t want to forget #1 and #8!!
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