Dorm Life: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

BY COLE MCNANNA // APRIL 23, 2015 //

With a new class of students moving onto campus come September, I thought it best to let them know the good, the bad and the ugly concerning dorm life. Because everyone lives different experiences, though, I asked around to find out what others on campus thought.

To be sure, there were a wide variety of responses when residents were asked, “What are the best and the worst things about living in a residence hall?”

The most unusual reply was that Mayflower, an older first-year residence hall, offered a “homey” living experience. Junior Ana Pearson reflected on her first year, and noted that she had a beautiful view of the sunset from her bedroom window. Pearson remarked that she really enjoyed the unique view, which helped set the tone for the rest of her year.

South Campus Residence Hall (SCRH).

South Campus Residence Hall (SCRH).

As sophomores living in 886, survey respondents gave positive responsesabout the increase in room size and the upkeep of the building.Another positive is the presence of an elevator in 886. Many students benefitted from being able to move quickly up and down the floors.

For juniors and seniors surveyed, Suites came into play. Suites give a sense of the future. Apartment-style living gives a peak into what life may look like after Curry.

Residents surveyed praised the common areas in residence halls on North Side. Common areas are a good place to get studying done, but are also a good place to hang out during the day. Common areas offer flat-screen TVs, tables and chairs .

Also, free laundry may not be the most exciting thing in the world, but “free” is many college students’ favorite word.

Some students felt that the ability to control heat and air conditioning—in buildings where it applies—was among the best parts of dorm life. It was one of the most common and highly ranked positive responses, and does come into play on a New England campus where the weather changes every 20 minutes.

The second-best aspect of life on the North Side of campus is the close proximity to the academic quad, said those surveyed. When you don’t quite want to get out of bed in the morning before your 8:30 a.m. statistics class, you can still get to class in less than five minutes.

Finally, the best thing about campus life in residence halls is the comradery and friendship you build with roommates and neighbors. Especially during the first week or so of freshmen year, everyone is hoping to meet new people and make new friends right off the bat.

As with most things in life, there are good things and bad things about living on-campus. Some student complaints included living on the third floor in a building without an elevator, loud vacuuming during early-morning hours, the walls being thin enough to hear your neighbors, the disrespect of quiet hours, a consistent “weird” smell haunting Mayflower, the uphill walk to classes, and frequent fire alarms.

The third-most common complaint was damage charges. Most of the time, you don’t receive notice of the charge until weeks after the damage is done. Worse, residents wind up paying for something that wasn’t their fault.

Another complaint is more of an awkward nuisance than anything else—showering with flip-flops on. It’s a major adjustment coming from your own clean shower at home to sharing showers with floor-mates.

Lastly, the most common negative response was the mess in the bathrooms. Sometimes people don’t flush or clean off the toilet seat when they miss, and trash bins often get overfilled. The list can go on and on regarding the nasty thing people do in residence hall bathrooms, and most readers know exactly what I’m talking about.

But in the end, I received far more positive responses than negative ones, which I was a little surprised about. And they all came straight from the source!

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