As I refreshed my freshman Penn State e-living account and saw my assignment to Pollock Halls displayed across my phone’s screen, I thought to myself, “well, this sucks.”
I knew this was a possibility, but I had assured myself all summer that there was no way I was not going to get my preferred housing choice in East Halls.
Nearly every person I talked to after I made the decision to attend Penn State had told me I should want to live in East Halls. Even my father, an alumnus from the class of 1994, suggested that I should live there.
As my freshman year progressed, I came to realize that Pollock didn't deserve the bad rap that it has, and dare I say it, may be even better than East.
One of the primary advantages Pollock has over other residence halls is the food available to you. While the Pollock dining hall is by no means anything special, it has an OK rotation of food that can get the job done. But this is not where Pollock's superiority lies, the real prize lies in the options that you have.
Not a fan of what is on the menu at Pollock? Simply take a two to four minute detour to Redifer Commons and take your pick from the numerous options there. If you're not in the mood for a big meal or sitting in a dining hall, stop by the Made to Order section of Pollock Market or construct your own meal with the abundance of snacks and frozen food present in its aisles.
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For those looking for something to eat at 2 a.m. on a Saturday night, downtown and its numerous options are only a short walk away.
Some added bonuses include Edge Coffee Bar and Late Night dining at Redifer Commons.
Not only does Pollock have a clear step up on the competition when it comes to dining options, its location may be the best of all the options for freshman housing.
Without spending a good 25 minutes of your day on buses, it is nearly impossible to avoid the long walking distances that come with attending Penn State. Luckily for residents in Pollock Halls, walking distances are considerably shorter to a number of common destinations on campus.
Pollock offers a walking distance advantage when it comes to getting to common classroom buildings such as Thomas, Willard, labs and the HUB-Robeson Center.
The residence hall complex is also close to several other underutilized buildings such as the White Building, an older but less crowded alternative to the IM Building if you want to exercise, as well as Pollock Testing Center. This proximity to the testing center not only helps when taking exams, but also helps when a student might want to work on a desktop. The second floor of the testing center contains a computer lab that is often very quiet and a great place to study.
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While Pollock does have a lot going for it, nothing can be perfect. The unavoidable fault that resides in every hall in the complex are the dorms themselves.
They’re old, not very big, and of course they contain the dreaded communal bathrooms.
While the thought of these ancient dwellings may cause many to wish they lived elsewhere, the situation really is not all that bad.
Yes, the dorms aren't pretty, but the reality I soon found out was that the conditions you live in don’t really matter all that much.
Between, class, eating, clubs, studying and some form of exercise on most days, keeping yourself busy and out of the dorms is a relatively easy task. Inside the dorms, the luxury around you really is really not a huge factor considering 99% of your time will be spent at the desk or bed in the room.
To avoid the lower quality dorms in Pollock, you can also utilize the supplemental rooms attached to most floors.
The supplemental rooms are easily three times the size of normal dorms that can house four to eight people. If there are people living there, befriend them and take advantage of their gigantic room to hang out in.