Living on campus is highly encouraged for freshmen because it is an excellent way to meet fellow students and to become integrated into campus culture. Unlike off-campus lodgings, all residence halls feature group, individual, and private study rooms for students to use. Commuting is obviously not an issue for residents, but it can be a lengthy walk to class, and most students ride bicycles or scooters in order to be on time. The resident advisers (RAs) tend to be on the more lenient side, which can result in the liberty to conduct fun social events, but also distraction for those trying to study.
The Aberdeen-Inverness (A-I) and Lothian residence halls are known for being the most social dorms. Positively, the quantity of students in both places suggests countless opportunities to make new friends and build connections. However, this also means there is less privacy and a great deal of activity and disturbances. Pentland Hills provides the most solitude and contains a smaller group of people. The cost for these luxuries among others is considerably higher, though. Most students recommend steering clear of Bannockburn, if at all possible. Despite its cheapness and proximity to classes, it's unkempt, rundown, and cramped. Unofficially, Bannockburn is the most unsafe of all on-campus housing, due to the lack of lighting, security gates, and outside entrances. Stonehaven is relatively newer, better maintained, and has moderate pricing. International Village has the enviable reputation of being the best resident option, often compared to that of a hotel. Ultimately, a standard plan for noncommuting UCR students is to spend their freshman year in a dorm in order to establish friendships and create academic networks, and then move off campus for more lenient and overall better housing.