Freshman dorms vs. sorority housing

Rachel Hicks

Our surroundings can have a significant impact on our mood. A single ray of sunlight streaming through a large open window can brighten your day, while a dark, lampless, brooding room can instantly trigger negative thoughts. That’s why it’s important to be aware of your living quarters — what kind of vibes are they sending you?

The excitement of the first few weeks of freshman year works like a shield, preventing new students from finding flaws . Everything seems shiny, big, and opportunistic — thus, the freshman dorms appear magnificent to most of their inhabitants.

“I think the dorms are extremely nice,” Madison Hutchins, ‘20, said. “The bathrooms and showers are so big and clean, and I love the close arrangement of dorm rooms; it’s great being so close to friends.”

While the freshman dorms initially seem like a never-ending party at a hotel, the shield tends to fade as the weeks go by. The colder weather makes people more reluctant to venture outside, making it difficult to find a good place to study near the comfort of your room. All of a sudden, dozens of empty pizza boxes dominate each common room, abandoned midnight snacks lay trodden upon in the hallways, laundry rooms become the hall’s night owl’s lair and toilet paper runs out on weekends.

While living in food leftovers and crumbs can be slightly troubling, these conditions seems to go unnoticed or overlooked by many. The real issue with freshman dorms is their lack of positive study space. People often take advantage of the W&L honor code and leave their belongings on desks in the rotunda or fishbowl for extended periods of time, claiming that desk for up to the whole year. This causes many freshmen to study in their rooms, which may not be the most well-lit or encouraging places to spend the majority of their day.

Greek housing may provide smaller rooms for sophomores in some cases, but overall, the welcome home feeling beats freshman housing hands down. You get to live with people you know and trust — people who won’t “accidently” go to the wrong room in the middle of the night or give you the silent treatment if you forget to take the trash out.

“I really like the mornings and lunches when people are just hanging out and working,” said Lorena Hernandez,‘19. “It’s a really friendly atmosphere and everyone is genuinely interested in everyone else’s lives.”

There are plenty of spaces to study around the house in friendly beautiful spots, and there is a rule instilled by the house mom to pick up your belongings from the study areas by the end of the day; that way, everybody has equal access to all the tables, couches , and spots in their home.

Plus, if you live in the sorority or fraternity houses, you get to come home for dinner instead of trekking to dhall in snow and ice just to turn around because you forgot your swipe. There also seem to be more windows and healthy light in greek housing, and more opportunities to run into a smiling face that will uplift your spirits and make you want to spend more time at home.

The unfortunate part of greek housing is the male and female separation. It’s fun to live next door to your friends of the other gender.  You get to hang out often and conveniently make last minute plans to grab dinner. Having the sorority and fraternity houses so far away from each other makes it harder to run into your former best guy or girl friends. But that just means you have to make more of an effort to reach out to them.

Freshman dorms bring your whole class together and serve their purpose as sleeping spots. But as far as study spaces go, they tend lose their appeal right around the time people leave their peels all over the floor. Greek housing is cleaner, friendlier, and a place you actually look forward to coming home to. Maybe there’s nothing better or more comforting than coming home and staying home with family.