To dorm or not to dorm?


UC Berkeley’s Stern House, one of the student dormitories, basks in the late afternoon glow. (Photo taken from Google under the Creative Commons license)

Mary Nassar, News Editor, Creative Writing Editor

Ahhh, it’s that time of the year again. The birds are chirping, the days lengthen as the sun lingers a little longer than it used to, and the foreshadowing of summer can be felt under the sweltering heat of the Southern California sun.

Yes, you guessed it.

It’s college commitment season.

During this next month, the seniors will be deciding where they want to spend the next four years of their academic journey. And while they decide on where to commit, they’re also figuring out their housing situation and how they’ll adjust to living on campus in the coming fall.

For me, I’ve recently committed to UCLA and submitted my housing application, but without the help of my parents and Sophia Kondo ’22 and Katie Fang ’22 (who will also be fellow Bruins in the fall), I definitely wouldn’t have been able to finish it. With all the different housing types and styles, it was easy to get overwhelmed and procrastinate turning it in. Nevertheless, Sophia, Katie, and I have all submitted our applications and patiently await our housing offers. If all goes well, we’ll be able to dorm together (since we requested to be roommates), so fingers crossed!

As I was navigating the whole housing and dorm situation, I wanted to talk to some other seniors and get their thoughts on dorming in college and how they’ll adjust to such a big lifestyle change.

Q: Do you plan on dorming in college or living at home? If you plan on dorming, does your college offer different dorm types?

Isabelle Brookshire ’22 shares, “I originally planned that I was going to live at home but didn’t realize my college (Scripps) required me to dorm the first year! Either way, I’m actually super excited now to dorm! My college offers quite a few different dorm types. It offers different halls and, even inside of those halls, there’s different rooms! Students who have already attended wrote a cute little blog about it here:”

Irene Fernandez ’22 expresses her thoughts on dorming in college, “I definitely plan on commuting. It’s only like an 8 hour drive to UC Berkeley, so I think it will work out…just kidding. I plan on dorming in college, and honestly, I am so excited about it. UC Berkeley does offer different dorm types. There are several residence halls that offer doubles, triples, or suites. I am leaning towards applying to a living-learning community because I would love being around others who share my interests or identity. UCB has some housing theme programs I’m interested in being a part of especially because they include activities throughout the semester and would love being involved more in the community.”

Keira Sarni ’22 also shares, “I do plan on dorming in college! I think it’s super important to have that stereotypical college dorm life and learn how to share a space like that with a dormmate like in Pitch Perfect.”

Q: What are your thoughts on dorming in college, and do you think it will be an easy lifestyle change?

Isabelle shares, “I don’t think it’ll be an easy lifestyle change, but I think some of the best things come from change. It won’t be the same lifestyle as now, and I think that’s what makes it more exciting than anything. As for roommates, it’ll be a big lifestyle change but as long as we get along, I think it’ll be really fun!”

Irene explains, “I am both excited and nervous about dorming in college. I’m not really looking forward to communal bathrooms, but I guess it is something I’m going to have to get used to. I think it will be an easy lifestyle change since I have already gone through sharing a room with my siblings although it will be different because this other person will be a complete stranger. However, I am excited to meet more people in the dorms.”

Q: What are your thoughts on roommates, and what are you looking for in a roommate?

Isabelle expresses, “As for a roommate, I’d want them to have a sense of humor, to be respectful, and share some similarities with me! As I said, as long as we get along, I think we’ll have a good time!”

Irene shares, “I’m a little worried about my roommates just because I’m afraid we’ll end up hating each other or not being compatible friends. I’m doing a prospective student program happening during Cal Day during Spring Break, so hopefully, I meet someone to be my roommate. For a roommate, I’m looking for someone who shares my interests in music, movies, or thrift shopping or they are just a cool person. I also would prefer someone who would like to explore the city with me. I think I will find someone I like, and the universe will place me where I am meant to be. College is going to be a new experience, but I am definitely looking forward to meeting people and making new friends at UC Berkeley!”

Keira explains, “I hope that my dormmate will become a friend, and we can go out for coffee and stuff together. I think it will be a little bit hard to switch from having my own room and big bed to sharing a room and having a small bed (I hope that my bed will be long enough to accommodate my height!).”

And lastly, I talked to my (hopefully!) future roommates Sophia and Katie about their thoughts on rooming together next year.

Sophia expresses, “I am super excited to dorm at UCLA!! Since I know my roomies, I think that’ll make the adjustment a lot easier! I am nervous since it will be a significant change, but I am sure it’ll be a great experience!”

And Katie shares, “I’ve always loved the concept of having a dorm (mostly the decorating part) but also having my own space. I would honestly be so grateful to room with Mary Nassar and Sophia Kondo–just being able to share the freshman experience with people I already know is super comforting. I also feel like dorming will give me the chance to learn how to cook actual food like a functioning human being. Overall, I’m super excited and hoping for that dorm with a private bathroom!”

Katie, I couldn’t have said it better myself.