college students animated

Terry Hall UW: My Freshman Year Experience

By Spencer Gardner
UW Class of 2026
10 months ago
Terry Hall UW: My Freshman Year Experience

In my freshman year at UW, I opted to stay in West campus and live in Terry Hall. If you are looking for quiet residents who like to study, Terry Hall is good because it is the furthest dorm away from campus and tends to be quieter. There are weekly events either on the floor of Terry or the entire building, which occur at most west campus dorms. It is a good way to meet new people, though I only attended a few. Each floor on Terry has its own kitchen. You just need to supply your pots and pans and clean up when you are finished. If you get tired of the dining hall, which happens pretty fast, you can cook your own food. The room I chose was a three-person room, but since the room was the size of a double, it felt pretty cramped. Although Terry Hall may be the quieter and smaller dorm, I enjoyed my time here as a freshman, and it was an overall fair experience.

If you are an incoming freshman and certain you want to be in the dorms, you have two choices: west and north campus dorms. West campus is more off-campus but closer to the off-campus food options. It is a bit more isolated and has its own individual communities with many weekly events. North campus, however, is on campus and has a more college-like feel. North campus is closer to Denny Field, where people like to hang out, play spikeball or visit with friends. While both have pros and cons, their rooms are mostly similar, and you don't really have a choice between the exact room layout. If you are looking to be in one of the on-campus apartments, like the popular Mercer Court, you will have to know someone who is an upperclassman. They will already be taken by the time you choose your own dorm.

Terry Hall UW

When you sign up, make sure you get a double room. Triple rooms are good too, but make sure the room is sized like a triple room by looking at the floor maps of the building. I was in a double room with three people living in it, which was not ideal because there was not a lot of space. You will have to loft your bed and put your desk underneath it, resulting in minimal floor space. There are triple rooms with more square footage, so if you plan on living with three people, try to find one of those specific rooms.

Here are some other things to bring light to:

  • The food situation at UW is fair at best. While we do have three main dining halls to eat at and markets to get food and groceries, the options get old pretty fast.
  • Your dining funds are a separate account in which money cannot be refunded, so you have to spend all of your money at the end of the quarter. A good tip is always to go with dining hall account level 0: you can always add extra money but not take it out.
  • Regarding west campus safety, you will have to cross streets to get to your building, which means cars and buses will drive by. West campus is closer to the Ave, which has a variety of food choices but can be sketchy at night.

West campus, and north campus dorms are both good options. I am personally opting to move off campus next year, but many students decide to continue living either in the on-campus apartments or in the dorms. No matter who you are, there is always something for you, and you will find something that will work for you at UW.

At RateMyDorm, we've collected 90 student reviews from University of Washington.

University of Washington

UW Dorms Ranked

We rank the top 10 UW dorms
University of Washington

Best UW Dorms

Learn about the top 5 UW dorms