Reflections from Current Students on Their First Rooms at SLC
Rachel Tynes '15
Santa Fe, New Mexico
I'm an only child so having to share a room with someone seemed like a fun new adventure when I was getting ready to move to SLC. It was a pretty simple process to fill out all the housing sheets. I'm pretty sure I marked off that I was more clean than I actually am but in the end that was a good thing because throughout my years at college I've become a neater person. I was very excited when I heard I was placed in Gilbert. On the Web site it looked like the perfect place: Tudor-style, mix of classes, offices, and housing—just like I had heard. I found my roommate on Facebook and we found out that we live only a state away (she's from Colorado, I'm from New Mexico). We discussed who was bringing what for the room (microwave, mini fridge, etc.) and I was very excited to meet her!
When I moved in and we met, we ended up hanging out a lot the first week. The RAs held many events during the year that allowed all the first years living in that area to get to know each other. I really enjoyed having my room in the center of campus because I didn't have to worry about being late to class because my classes were so close to where I lived!
Katu Medina-Pineda '15
I was assigned to live in a triple in Hill House, which is an apartment building six minutes away from main campus where a lot of first-years live. I was very excited to live in an apartment building because at my boarding school I lived in a house and shared a room with four other people, so I felt like having a space beyond an area in my room that I could turn into a home. I remember adding both of my roommates on Facebook and talking to one of them briefly about what each one of us was expecting—and it was entirely different things. However, our expectations were exceeded when we met the rest of the people in the apartment (one double and one single) and as it turned out, we all got along very well. In fact, they are all some of my closest friends here at SLC. Together, we turned the apartment into a home, a collective of all our needs and wants and we respected each others' space as well as the ones we all shared. One of my favorite things about first year housing: all the apartments in Hill House have a kitchen, and food brings people together!
Nate Montalto '15
Intimidated. That's the way to best describe the way I felt three years ago around this time when faced with my Sarah Lawrence housing questionnaire. Friends attending other institutions had told me to lie on my form thinking (maybe irrationally) that it would secure the "best" dorm and "good" roommates. I went with the advice my mother gave me instead: Be as honest and hard on yourself as you can because you want to live with people who have the same kinds of boundaries that you do. The people you share the room with are so much more important than where the room is.
So I was honest. Moderately messy. Not a huge party person. I wanted quiet housing so I could go somewhere else to have fun Friday but always come home to a peaceful place to get some rest. The Sarah Lawrence College Office of Residence Life made my dreams that I didn't even know I had come true: I was placed in Westlands, the massive Tudor mansion overlooking the center of campus. I had amazing roommates, and we’re all still friends. We had our difficulties but we were always able to resolve them. I loved living in the center of campus, and though I am pretty sure I would have also enjoyed the first year Hill House experience that most student share, I would never trade in my year in Westlands. Great roommates and amazing friends, in one of the most beautiful buildings on campus.
The best advice I can give is to be honest. There are so many options and so many different ways to have a great first year on campus. The only thing you can do to make the process better is be honest about your habits, likes, dislikes, and needs on the form. If you do that you can at least guarantee yourself great roommates.
Nathara Bailey '15
Moving to college was filled with both excitement and anxiety. Not only was I entering a new and more challenging academic setting, but I was going to be, somewhat, living on my own for the very first time. I filled out the housing questionnaire and hoped for the best, most friendly roommate. By the middle of the summer I was alerted that I would be placed in Westlands. Being unaware of housing at Sarah Lawrence, this meant very little to me. But it finalized the way my life would be changing. On move-in day it was obvious that I was living in the most central part of campus. All the important offices were so close to where I lived. I knew my first year living experience was unique. I was the last person to move into my room and met a very bubbly young woman from Los Angeles (who is now one of my best friends). We had found each other through Facebook and briefly exchanged tidbits about ourselves. From the organization and neatly made bed I could tell my third roommate was already well settled. I met her later that evening after I had a teary-eyed goodbye with my family. My roommates were my closest friends all year and I learned a lot about sharing a space with two very different people. I didn’t realize it as much at the time but I truly loved living in Westlands. I am always nostalgic when I enter the third floor of the building and often peak around the corner at my room, even just to glance at the door.
Owen Marks '15
Going away to live at a school miles away from home can be hectic. This is doubly so when you grew up as an only child in an old farmhouse on the campus of a boarding school. This happens to be what I was going through when I first entered Sarah Lawrence. I drove to campus not knowing what to expect. A month or two earlier I had filled out the housing form, and while the questions ranged from sleeping habits to taste in music, I had answered that I really had no preference. Having never experienced the joys of having a roommate, going into this situation with an open mind seemed like the best option. I might have been heading into the best or the worst prospects imaginable.
Arriving at SLC was the easy part. I had packed a good amount of stuff—years later I now know it was probably too much. The SLC GREEN TEAM facilitated my move, so the process was quick and clean. Saying goodbye to mom and dad might be a teary and drawn out affair, so it’s best taken like a Band-Aid. Do it quickly so you can get the separation over with and move on to college life.
My new roommates were definitely not what I was expecting. It turns out that they also had filled out the survey in the same fashion as I. We bonded in the fact that we didn’t care whom we were housed with. With the year fast approaching and our R.A. telling us what was and was not a good idea, we all agreed that starting our housing experience with an open mind was the best way to prepare. And we still feel that way!