Dorm life is difficult for most students, but Illinois State University helps ease the transition. There are eight main dorms for students to choose from, all of which include a number of different amenities. Students are required to live in the dorms for two years, so it is not uncommon to see freshmen and sophomores meandering about. Most of the dorms at ISU have been newly remodeled within the past few years and contain new furniture. Many students complain that the rooms are small and that it is difficult to live in such a tight space with someone you do not know. There are ways to get around the space issue, such as lofting your bed to add more floor room. While students may find it difficult to live with another person, each floor has a large lounge for studying, relaxing, or escaping.Overall, all of the dorms are located on campus and are within a 10-minute walk to class, which makes them convenient for students.
Most student athletes live in the Tri-Towers (Wilkins, Haynie, and Wright Halls) because the athletic facilities are within the same vicinity. Watterson Towers, the 28-story, twin-tower complex, is the most popular place to live on campus. However, Watterson can be confusing to get around in because the elevators do not stop on every floor and each wing is called by a different president’s name (example: "Monroe"). Atkin-Colby and Hamilton-Whitten are the only "wet" dorms, which mean people over the age of 21 are allowed to bring in alcohol. However, these dorms are set to be torn down after the summer of 2012.