Light Side vs Dark Side

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Troy Fitzpatrick

Back in the spring of 2013, everyone was posed with the question: Light Side or Dark Side? With the new fall semester here and everyone moved into their new homes for the next nine months, people are finding out whether or not they chose the best side of Radford.

For anyone that is not aware, “Light Side” and “Dark Side” are the two sections of off campus housing located on adjacent sides of campus; not to be confused with Green Hill which is located across the bridge, opposite the athletic complex. Besides the absence of street lights being the main difference between the two sides (hence Light and Dark side), there are several other characteristics that gives each end its own distinct feel.

Light Side, when referring to the residencies, has more apartment style buildings. Because of this, there is a notably larger number of people in a given section of housing. This can be a plus or a minus depending on your personal preference. For a more social individual, it would be perfect. Everyone is close together and it is easy to meet new people and keep in touch. The downside to this is that the living spaces are comparably smaller. Again though, there is another positive tied with that negative. While you have to deal with slightly cramped spaces, the buildings are also significantly newer than the housing on Dark Side. With that though, comes a heftier price tag.

One of the deciding factors for a lot of students is the social/party scene. Light Side is known as the more rowdy side, filled with parties and people constantly out on the streets at night. It would be a challenge to walk down just a block or two without running into a gathering going on in an apartment or out on a house’s lawn. Again, this would be a personal preference. If you are a night owl, this could be the side for you. On the other hand, if you prefer to actually sleep at night, then that could be detrimental to your routine.

Dark Side is the quieter side of Radford, consisting mainly of houses which students rent. You would be more hard-pressed to find a party to join there. While they do go on, they are usually more exclusive (not to make them sound fancy; exclusive to the people throwing them) than those taking place on Light Side. You get more of a “real house” or neighborhood feel to Dark Side. Usually you have all of the elements of a house like a foyer, kitchen, living room and basement that are all actually separated as opposed to the apartment style rooms which are commonly just a kitchen and living room blended into one space.

One big benefit to Dark Side is more parking space. There is less fighting for a spot when most houses have their own drive way or space on the road. You do not have to deal with the cramped, often filled parking lots, that the apartments use.

One junior, Billy Geiger, expresses his joys of living on Dark Side. “I really love living here. It’s cheaper than anywhere else, is close to the intramural fields and is a lot quieter than Light Side. You don’t need to deal with everyone running around at night when you’re trying to study or sleep,” he said.

In the end, the choice comes down to your own personality. There is not necessarily a better side to live on, it just depends on the conditions in which you like to live. If you are a social butterfly and want to be around people all the time, then Light Side may be a better choice. If you are a little more laid back and like to keep to yourself and your own set of friends, then Dark Side may appeal to you more. Just take a look around both and a decision will be clear.

Troy Fitzpatrick

I'll do this some other time...