Dorm Assignments are not Reflecting the Interests of Some Students

To the incoming freshmen, college is supposed to be the best four years of one’s life and the place where everlasting friends are made. At least this was my perception until the day I moved in. After my clothes were unpacked, my bed was made and my computer set up, my roommates and I realized, no one else was moving onto our floor that morning. We later learned, we were a few of the select freshmen living in a primarily sophomore dorm. No immediate worries came to mind, until Sunday morning when we woke up to the bustle of approximately thirty other girls doing what we did the previous Friday – moving in. They all seemed nice, but they were all best friends and we, being new to the school had none. Being a freshman among sophomores detracts from the first year experiences, it alienates us from the rest of our class, and it makes meeting friends extremely difficult. I’m well aware of the housing crunch the University currently faces, but there were options in this situation.

The thought of moving to a new city, attending a new school, and making new friends is nerve-racking. Newcomers to college look to their floormates for comfort because typically they are all in the same position. But where does the freshman living in a primarily sophomore dorm turn, to their roommates? Maybe, but what if they don’t get along, then what? How do they cope with the anxieties of being in a foreign setting and being all alone? They are left in a difficult position comparable to mine. I am one of the seventy freshmen living in a residential complex that houses four hundred students. I rarely converse with the girls on my floor. It took me weeks to make friends, and I still don’t feel like I have as many friends as the first-years who live together. The first weekend when all the freshmen set out together to navigate this new environment, I was in my room, with my roommates, because we didn’t have a group with which to go out. Since then I have made a few friends through my classes but my options are still limited. If I have a problem I don’t have a person down the hall to which I can run. I don’t have study sessions with the residents on my floor. And I don’t have a group of girls, who I know will always be there, to hang out with, and share experiences with, every night. It scares me, as I am sure it does others in my position, that I am not going to have that social life in college that I want.

This situation could have been prevented, or at least eased, if the University was a little more compassionate. Instead of spreading all seventy of us freshman throughout the entire building they could have put us all on one floor. Living together would have made getting acclimated much easier for the 18 percent of residents who are freshmen. I know housing for this year was a problem, but the students who are paying to come here should not have to sacrifice their happiness or college experience because the housing authority was not understanding of freshmen needs.

One, of many, simple solutions that could have greatly improved the quality of living for myself and other freshman in my position would have been organizing an event of some sort that brought together the few freshmen who live in these dorms. It would have given them a chance to get to know one another and to find out where one another lived. These are two, of many, simple solutions that could have greatly improved the quality of living for freshmen, such as myself.

College is hard enough and shouldn’t be made more difficult by being forced to live in an emotionally uncomfortable setting. Not only does this situation prevent one from making connections but also it can prevent one from doing well. Being upset and discouraged about living conditions makes it very difficult for someone to focus on school. Especially freshman year, during such a crucial transition, surroundings are important to success. The University should have thought a little more carefully before putting students such as myself in such a position. It’s not fair and it’s not right.