ROTC housing vs Normal dorm set up


5-Year Member
Jan 30, 2017
Hey all, I have to pick a living option at PSU soon and they have an option to live in a dorm with other rotc students. I was wondering what your experiences with rotc housing have been like. Thanks for any input!
Pros and cons both ways.....

My DS lived in dorms his first year but chose two roommates who were non-ROTC. This worked best for him, because he did not have to compete with the bathroom as he was up WAY earlier than the roomies. Now, as an MS-II he has the same roommates in an apartment and he has the kitchen and the bathroom to himself in the morning.

If he had chosen all ROTC roommates, he would have that thread in common, but they would ALL be up at the same time each morning.

'Not the end of the world, but something to consider.
Con: Non-ROTC roommates, you have to get up early in the morning for PT and your roommates don't, so they stay up way late at nite making a lot of noise.....
I would agree with the above. ROTC is not 24/7. It's basically like any other EC sport or activity. You need friends outside of it to stay somewhat sane and enjoy other aspects of college.
Live with them. It's not like you're going to be the only ones in the dorm!! You'll still get PLENTY of exposure to all kinds of other new students. It's the best of both worlds.
My AFROTC son lives on a dorm floor with no ROTC. He likes it and I think it expands his social circle. He does a lot of weekend day activities with ROTC and his dorm setup gives him the chance to do things with a different set of friends if he desires. I think it's good. Than again, I don't like the idea of athletes' dorms either.
It is a one year decision. Good pros and cons above. My daughter is with a non rotc roommate and ended up being a good fit. There is no guarantee either way that you will get along with your roommate. But if you don't and they are in ROTC then they are in your world a lot more! But if you want to live with the other cadets then do it, it isn't forever. Next year you can chose something different if you want. You just kind of have to go with your gut.
Penn state is a big place and a big battalion. Take the tri service housing option. You won't regret it.
My DS did not live with a ROTC cadet as a freshmen and in a way he regretted it. Mainly due to the fact that as others have stated his room mate was not an early bird, but instead a night owl. DS too is a night owl, but he quickly realized that going to bed at midnight and having to be up and at PT 6 a.m. the next morning with classes all day was not going to work for him. So for a year he had to deal with placing a pillow over his head because the roommate had the lights on until 1 a.m.
~ His following years he roomed with AFROTC cadets.

I would also say that as he progressed through AFROTC his friendships changed. He became more involved in ROTC, including joining a military fraternity and due to that more of his friends were in ROTC. He had and still has friends that were not in ROTC, but the majority of them are in the AF now. It is also due to commonalities. Your ROTC friends understand that you can't just sleep in and not go to PT. Your ROTC friends understand why you are spending an hr shining your shoes and belt buckles instead of playing a game on your PS4. They understand when you speak in acronyms...i.e. OML, PFT, LLAB, etc.
~ I recall one conversation in his junior year regarding how he was seeing friendships change. His non-ROTC friends were just living day to day that year with no thought about life after graduation, whereas, for him he already knew that he was going to go to UPT upon graduation. As seniors it became even more apparent in the fall because they were now trying to decide between grad school (more debt) or applying for jobs. DS otoh was able to enjoy his senior year knowing everything was already set for him, as long as he kept his grades up and his nose clean.
Our DD has lived with ROTC roommate freshman year. It was great bc they were in the "same boat". For next year (sophomore) DD has opted to live with a non ROTC student but a student of her same major. Whether they are ROTC or not you will have the same challenges as every other freshman, it's a transition for everyone!