Recently, a senior came up to me and asked “How did you get a room here? Did you have an amazing number?” I laughed because in my first experience with the housing lottery I initially did not receive a room. In the first round of the housing lottery students receive a housing number. I was given the number 1266, incoming sophomores’ numbers normally span from 1000 - 1500 meaning I was about in the middle of the lottery. The numbers correspond to a time when the housing portal will be open for you to select a room. Higher numbers receive earlier time slots. I did not find housing that was right for me in the first round in December so I participated in the second round: the summer lottery. During the summer lottery, I was asked to indicate my top choices for where I would like to live allowing Residential Education and Living (REAL) staff to place me based on my preferences. I indicated Abbey House, which a lot of sophomores do not know is an option for housing, because my friend, a senior who was placed in Abbey House, recommended that I give it shot. Abbey House is an independent living option for upperclassmen who want to live in “The Village.” The Village consists of Abbey, Winchester Apartments, River Ridge Apartments, 191 House and Lazarus, most of which are located across the street from main campus.
When I moved into Abbey House at the beginning of the year my dad was immediately confused. My new, apartment-style living in Abbey is very different from my previous traditional dorm in Harkness House. A huge difference between last year’s living situation and this year’s is my transition from living in a triple to living in a single. Although having my own personal space is great, especially when I want to take extremely long naps without disturbing anyone, I do miss the perks of coming home to a friend to talk to every night and the free snacks that my two gluten-free roommates would give me. Another huge difference between living in Harkness and Abbey House is my proximity to people my age. Most of the residents in The Village are juniors or seniors, which has led to some new friendships with upperclassmen who I might not have had the chance to meet. I have gifted my hammock to my new friends at Ridge 23, seniors who let me set it up on their balcony to read or hang out. Abbey House also contains a communal kitchen which has been great. I’ve made chili cheese dip, and healthy food sometimes, for me and my friends.
Overall, I have completely enjoyed both of the dorms that I have lived in and I have realized that the panic that ensues every housing lottery is unnecessary. No matter where you live on campus there are positives and negatives and an adjustment to both. I complain about having to walk up the hill to main campus for classes and not having a dining hall near me, but I also appreciate the opportunity to get some exercise walking around. The Village also has direct access to the Caroline Black Garden, which is a part of the College’s Arboretum and a place that I highly recommend visiting for a chance to get into nature.