Submitted by Christopher Wang
Of course, in the dorms, a fridge is a cumbersome piece of equipment to have, and the benefits are more for luxury than for necessity. Being able to chill drinks and food helps to preserve them and keep them fresh, but also adds a certain flavor to some. This is at the cost of having a large portion of the already small dorm room occupied by a heavy, relatively immovable metal rectangle.
In my time in the dorms, I owned a mini-fridge. It was convenient in that I could store food and drinks in it, and could access them when late night at the cafeterias was closed or when I did not want to remove myself from whatever task I was doing. Although I didn’t use it much over the course of the year, I realized that every time that I did, it was because I really didn’t want to do the alternative at that moment. I believe that as a college student, alleviating stress is an important factor to success. Other people on my floor used fridges religiously, keeping them fully stocked at all times. If you find yourself needing extended periods of time to maintain concentration, and do not want to always head out to obtain drinks (excluding water, as there is a water fountain in the hallway), then a fridge may be for you.
It is also possible to rent a mini-fridge from RESCOMP, so upon moving out, there is not the hassle of storing and keeping the fridge. A semester or year is quite a long time, and the convenience of having refreshments may have cumulative benefits. If you exclusively drink water or do not mind room temperature drinks, then a fridge would not be worth the price. I still have the fridge from the dorms, and I still use it, showing that it can be a long-term option as well.
In the end, it is all up to personal preference for convenience. It’s worth mentioning that there is a common fridge in the kitchen of the halls on the first floor, but many items are often stolen or used without permission. If you enjoy a nice, cold Pepsi (no Coke, because Cal is sponsored exclusively by pepsi), then fridge on!