Name: Rachel Long
Year: Class of 2019
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Intended Path of Study: History and Sociology
Dorm Sweet Dorm
One of the biggest things I was looking forward to most going to college was getting to set up my new dorm room – me, and every other college freshman. It’s so exciting getting to live somewhere new after living virtually all your life in the same bedroom. Coming to Hopkins, though, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from the dorms. Of course I knew the names – Wolman, the AMRs, McCoy – but what do those names actually mean to someone who hasn’t been inside a dorm room here?
I can’t speak for everyone here, and I certainly don’t have the time or expertise to describe every living space at Hopkins, but I can give an idea of what it’s been like for me.
I live in Wolman Hall, a dorm building exclusively for freshman. In Wolman, we have suite-style rooms, with (typically) four people to a suite and two people to a room, with a kitchenette (fridge, sink, stove top), a private bathroom (toilet paper provided!), and, most importantly, air conditioning (seriously, you will never hear the end of it from your friends in the AMRs).
In your typical Wolman suite, normally one of the bedrooms is big and one is small (very, very small). Imagine my surprise walking into my new room on move-in day to discover that there’s not more than 32 inches between the edge of my bed and the wardrobe. Now, if you’re one of the unlucky ones like me and get the small room, never fear! There are plenty of options to maximize space. My room happened to be set up in a way that divided the space between my roommate and I essentially in half down the middle, which is why there is so little floor space. However, every student is welcome to rearrange the furniture how they like. In addition, lofting your bed (so that it’s like the top bunk of a bunk bed with your desk underneath) is a good option if you’re in a small room and want more space. I didn’t choose this option because I didn’t find the thought of climbing six feet into the air to get into bed every day very desirable – but to each her own. Even without lofting your bed, there’s a lot of room under there for storage; though I suggest waiting until you move in and see how much space there is to buy storage bins, since it can be difficult to guess how much space there will be just by looking at pictures.
Another thing that comes with living on your own for the first time in your life is the necessity of cleaning. Seriously: CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELVES. Now, I’m not the neatest of people, but cleaning my room is a necessity simply because of the lack of floor space – there’s literally no room for me to be messy. However, it’s a lot easier to put off cleaning if you live in a suite because, surprise surprise, you have to clean your own bathroom and kitchen. That’s right: homework isn’t the only thing you’ll procrastinate. It’s so easy to delay cleaning your toilet or doing your dishes, but don’t! Seriously. First of all, it gets gross (really, really gross. Take it from me). Secondly, it’s really inconsiderate to those you live with not to clean up after yourself. Of course college is a big adjustment for everyone, and you may not be used to living with other people, but everything will run much more smoothly if you’re not the one leaving food-crusted dishes in the sink for weeks on end.
Aside from that, though, living in a dorm is actually really fun. Decorating my room was honestly the most fun I had whilst moving in. You get to watch a sad, bare room with white walls turn into your home, and it’s wonderful. Whether you’re like me and put up a million pictures of your friends, or you decorate it like you saw on Pinterest, personalizing your dorm room is really important. You’re going to be living in this room for a whole year – make it your own, and have fun with it! You’ll make some of your best memories in your dorm room, so you’ll want it to feel like home as much as possible.