It’s that time again. Soon, a little white slip with a number on it will appear in the mailboxes of thousands of students. Hands will reach in, pull them out and panic, elation, or confusion will ensue. Mass texts will immediately be sent out, asking “what was your housing number?” “Is that good?” “Do you think we can get into [StuVi/Bay State/Not Warren] with that number?” “Do you think that [our upperclassman friend] can pull us in?” Housing madness will begin.
Here is what you should not do: Panic. And here is how you’re gonna do that: read up on this housing guide and check out the yearbook of housing on campus.
Here’s what to keep in mind when you are choosing a room:
LYE (Lower Your Expectations)
This may seem like some downer advice, but it is the most important to keep in mind, especially for underclassmen. If you go into your housing appointment with dreams of StuVi II and single-person apartments prancing in your head, you will most likely be disappointed. Aim low and be pleasantly surprised if your dream room is still available.
Put Yourself First
Think about what you really want. This is where you will be returning home to every night for 8 ½ months. If you do not really like the person you’re choosing to room with or the place, then you better speak up, and fast. Be assertive and make it clear what your top three choices are and where you absolutely do not want to live.
The Roommates Factor
If it’s the quality of room you’re looking for, then the less roommates, the better a chance you will have at getting it. It may be hard to exclude friends, but it is better to do so early on than when you are sitting in the meeting. You will have to make some calls: have a nicer room by yourself, or with one roommate, or be crammed into a room or suite with three of your best friends.
Location (Location, Location)
This one’s a no brainer. Where do you spend most of your time on campus? If your dorm isn’t within a half-mile walk from the places you most frequent, then you should get a bike or some strong legs. It’s not the worst thing to be living farther away, but walking a couple of miles home every night can get old real fast. Even though spring is on the way now, do not forget about all that time spent trudging through snow and wind.
Noise is also an important factor. Any dorms on Comm Ave are going to have a lot more noise from traffic and construction than if you live on Bay State. Get a good pair of earplugs or get used to it.
It’s Not The End of The World..
..if you do not get an awesome housing assignment. Yes, it would be nice to live in a beautiful, recently renovated brownstone with your three best friends, but it does not mean that your year is ruined if you do not get it.
Your experiences here are based on the memories you make in your room, and not on how nice or spacious it is. Take a deep breath, and be grateful that you’re young and living in the city.
With all that in mind, check out the dorms’ yearbook and superlatives.
(Con’t on page 2)