Oh the Dorms You'll Live In
From spacious singles to doubles with a view; from living in a loft to living with a dog, I have had quite the range of experiences living on campus at Dartmouth. I have lived on campus since I was a Freshman, but have lived in 3 different kinds of rooms and found out a lot about myself with each experience, so to kick off my first blog post of this term, I would love to tell y’all about my dorm room experiences and maybe help you decide what kind of room is the right fit for you!
Going into my freshman year, I remember selecting “single” on the housing application and crossing my fingers that I would be given a room all to myself for my freshman year. It’s not that I didn’t want a roommate, more-so that coming from so far away I wanted to be able to bring a lot of my own things and decorate my room how I pleased. I was used to having my own room at home and was really happy to have been placed in a single on an all-freshman floor. My freshman floormates are still some of my best friends, and going through tons of new experiences together helped ease the burden of transition into Dartmouth life, and make us a tight-knit group of friends. Although I missed out on that ‘freshman year random-roommate’ arrangement, I would recommend the privacy and freedom of having a single any day and promise you that there are so many friends and connections you can make regardless of your room type.
After having a single for about 9 months, I decided that it was time to stop talking to myself every morning and get myself a roommate. I had met another ’20 through a mutual friend and the Tour Guide Training Program named Jake, and we hit it off right away the Spring of my freshman year. Basically total opposites, we somehow fit perfectly together as a roommate combination and decided to apply for a one room-double for our respective Sophomore year. Our wish came true, and we moved into Topliff 317, where he stayed for the Fall, Winter, and Spring, and I occupied for the Fall and Spring. It was so nice to not only get to know Jake better and live with someone else, but to have someone to debrief your day with, or who you can talk about your classwork or problems with. We ended up walking to a lot of our classes together, getting meals almost daily, and to this day Jake is one of my closest friends at Dartmouth.
After having such a great experience living in a double, I decided to move into a one-room double in my fraternity for my Sophomore Summer and the Fall and Spring of my Junior year. Built in 1914, my room was one of the oldest that had never been renovated, and its original floorplan was so small that the attic was built into to provide space for the beds! We had a large common area with a TV, Couch, and plenty of space to store our clothes, and then my roommate and I’s beds were located in lofts on the opposite sides of the room, accessible by ladders. The setup was really nice, because I had my own personal space and a shared space, and living with a bunch of my friends in one big house was not only convenient but always lots of fun. At the end of the Fall, I even fostered a puppy through an Upper Valley foster program (he was a great roommate).
While I have enjoyed each one of my roommates and rooms in a different way, I think the best thing about them, in general, has been that I have had the opportunity to switch and to experience these different kinds of setups. You have the opportunity to move rooms every term (if you wish) at Dartmouth, so I would advise taking your time to explore your options and figuring out which room works best for you.