The most exciting part of going to college is the feeling of freedom that comes from finally moving out of your parents' place and into your own apartment—or in a freshman’s case, a dorm—and being able to do pretty much whatever the hell you want. Freshmen do have the option of living off campus their first year, but students moving to Mason from out of the area are better off in an on-campus dorm since it’s hard to meet people and get involved on campus that way. Other pros about on-campus living are the maintenance crew which will fix or replace anything that breaks for free, and the unlimited water and electricity use. Freshmen can pick from three housing areas: the University Commons, Presidents Park (where the majority of freshmen live), and Eastern Shore. Upperclassmen have seven different housing options which range from dorm-style living to four-person townhouses. If students want an on-campus social life, living on campus for at least one year to meet other students and get involved is definitely recommended.
With anywhere from two to four people per dorm, the facilities can get a little cramped, and students usually need a few weeks to warm up to the idea of sharing a bathroom with up to 16 other people. Overall, though, the dorms are clean and provide students what they need to get by. Most of the housing areas are close to the center of campus, but Presidents Park, Liberty Square, and Potomac Heights are about a 10-minute walk from the Johnson Center and popular class buildings like Robinson A and B. Still, living on campus is much more convenient than driving to campus and looking for a parking space for 20 minutes before walking to class.