Entering sophomore year means saying goodbye to the unparalleled camaraderie of the freshman dorms. Last year in Hecht was where I made some of my best friends and memories and learned it was totally possible to store my entire life in a cubicle. Now, hundreds of ‘Canes have the luxury to live in the newly-unveiled Lakeside Village. And so far, apartment life during a pandemic has made for an epic on-campus experience.
Lots of students saw the pristine housing opportunity as an enormous decision factor to return to Miami this fall. Knowing that I’d have my own space amidst COVID-19 provided me with a sense of peace, although I do still long for the social scene of Hecht. Lakeside’s secluded apartments and suite-style units eliminate congregation, instill authentic social distancing and minimize human contact. There are also no communal bathrooms, which is definitely a step-up.
Sophomore Lizzie Arnold said she probably wouldn’t have returned to campus if she wasn’t set for Lakeside. Having a private space this semester was also a priority to her.
The inconvenience of devoting a whole day to laundry was everyone’s least favorite task of freshman year. Thankfully, each Lakeside apartment is equipped with in-unit laundry machines perfect for hassle-free chores. For residents of Lakeside suites, shared laundry rooms are easily accessible on each section of every floor.
Sophomore Lily Fox said the suite laundry facility is “a huge upgrade from the freshman dorms.” Since the washers are conveniently down the hall from her room, she doesn’t have to haul her clothes up and down flights of stairs only to find them all taken or out of order. Students can also use the CSC mobile app to check a cycle’s status for more efficiency.
Spacious and cozy study rooms are spread out on each floor for ‘Canes to utilize. During my freshman year, I frequently studied at public campus spaces like Richter, Shalala, the gliders and the dining halls. This year, I have yet to visit these places because I’ve chosen to spend most of my hours in Lakeside. Arnold, on the other hand, said she’s never used the study rooms because she prefers to work in her apartment or outdoors to absorb the sun. “Studying in my apartment means I can multitask and do laundry or make a meal while studying,” she said.
Sophomore Sara Veteri said COVID has impacted her academic routine. She spends the majority of time in her apartment due to UM’s 11 p.m. curfew and a mostly online class schedule.
While students are grateful to stay in Lakeside, a few of the complex’s promised amenities — including the rock-climbing wall, Smoothie King and sand volleyball court — are currently closed or still under construction, Arnold said she debated whether or not Lakeside was worth its price tag with these amenities unavailable. However, like many of her peers, she’s thrilled to be back on campus with loved ones and enjoy a little bit of normalcy during such abnormal times.
Check out this “Merrick” apartment layout!
words_emily louie photo_emily louie & camila munera