One of the best parts of studying at CMU has little to do with studying: community. Because of the smaller size of the campus, it is almost impossible not to find yourself becoming involved in a vibrant and diverse group of people. And so it comes as no surprise that living in residence is a rich and stimulating experience.

CMU offers three different residence facilities, which provide single dorms, double occupancy dorms, apartments, suites, and everything in between. I live in Poettker Hall, the dorm facility connected to the dining hall on the south campus. It features a men’s wing and a women’s wing, with a basement of apartments. I have made the excellent decision of living with one of my closest friends from my Outtatown experience and have enjoyed every day sharing my space with him.

That is one of the best parts of residence. Because you live in the same space as so many people, you can’t help but share experiences with them. Conversations spring up out of nowhere and people seem to be naturally inclined to live life communally. Recently, 24 people came out of the woodwork to play a game of ‘Mafia’ together. In addition to large group games, the foosball and pool tables in the lounges are rarely unused, and often draw crowds of spectators. There is a sense of mutual investment that includes both work and play.

As I write this, I am a few feet away from a handful of friends who made the migration to Marpeck Commons to get some work done. Study sessions happen all the time and exam time becomes a massive team effort.

At any given time, one can hear music being played by the plethora of instruments in the dorms: pianos, violins, cellos, guitars, ukuleles, and more. Should you explore the Katherine Friesen apartments, you would smell the cooking and hear the quiet conversation, and if you walk over to Concord Hall, you could easily join groups of people watching Murdoch Mysteries or the World Junior Hockey Championship in the lounges.

Residence at CMU has been an excellent experience for me. I’ve become friends with a huge number of people I would’ve hardly otherwise known. Every day I get to wake up and share everyday life with a whole bunch of really cool people.

Evan Balzer is one of CMU’s Student Ambassadors

Learn more about living in residence at CMU