Your enjoyment of living on campus at Reed depends on your willingness to sacrifice space and privacy for the ability to meet a ton of nice people in a cozy, close environment. Although campus rooms generally lack in size, the dorms themselves usually contain almost every amenity that a student could want: a fully-stocked kitchen, large and inviting social rooms, and all those wild and crazy college antics you've heard so much about. Actually, the Reed on-campus experience presents a great opportunity to truly get a feel for Reed, as you meet a diverse group of students from all places and backgrounds, and share a reasonably-sized space with them. As one student commented, friendships spawn in the dorms, not in classes. Reed offers many dorms to choose from, each varying in size, age, and appeal. However, unless you are extra picky, your freshman dorm generally depends on the luck of the draw; you could end up in the smallest room in the worst dorm or in a great dorm in a room overflowing with space. After freshman year, students either enter a campus-wide housing lottery, or apply to live in a theme dorm or a language house if they desire to remain on campus. Generally, half the people that apply to live on campus for their upperclassman years receive housing.
However, Reed now has a policy guaranteeing sophomore housing. People who really desire to live on campus generally can find their way into the dorms with little effort. In terms of individual dorms, most people either prefer the newest dorms or the oldest dorms, with Old Dorm Block, Bragdon, and Steele being the most popular living locations. At times, dorms can be conducive to studying, but your best bet would still be the library.