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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Second year even better in first-year housing

Published: March 2, 2007
Section: Opinions

I remember opening my mailbox over mid-winter recess and receiving a letter from Residence Life. In it was a simple number and some instructions on how to participate in the housing lottery for the next year. My number was 509, and to tell you the truth, I honestly didnt know what that meant! Soon enough, as I was led through the maze and confusion of the room-selection process, I discovered that my inadequate number was only good for a isolated single in Schwartz Hall, or a room in a first-year residence hall. A first-year residence hall! I had been told of the agony and pain that was associated with living in a first-year residence hall and the catastrophe it would mean to my social life. I had heard the stories of torture and misfortune at spending another year in one of those buildings and dreaded the thought of residing in North once again. Still, I decided to select a room in Cable, and the following semester in that hall has led me to believe that it was one of the best choices I could have made.
With room selection just around the corner I just wanted to say that its totally awesome to live in a first-year residence hall! On the face of it, first-year residence halls are not physically that bad. First of all, you are guaranteed to get a single, and most often a pretty large single at that. This means that roommate conflicts and other awkward situations go out the window as you enjoy your quiet abode.

Furthermore, first-year residence halls have great locations and are much more easily accessible than other quads. I live in North, which is close to Usdan, Rabb, and both of the major sophomore quads, East and the Castle. Furthermore, I dont have to negotiate the treacherous East Hill or climb insane staircases in the Castle to get to and from my room. I live on the first floor, have a great location, and have really awesome accommodations;

what more can I ask for?

The environment of a first-year residence hall is incomparable. You can almost feel the buzz, the energy, and all the other wonderful attributes that makes the atmosphere unique. Whereas many upperclassmen are unwilling to do certain activities, first-years are eager to go to any event that Brandeis has to offer. This has led me to have companions to a variety of occasions that my hallmates frequented, which upperclassmen may have tried and then refused to go to again. I had friends to go with to a variety of Waltham restaurants, shows at Chums, and other events that made sure I was never in my room. Furthermore, first-years just seem to be all-around energetic, curious, and willing to try anything. This is very conducive to a great hall experience, as it lightens the atmosphere, provides an interesting comradeship, and adds to dorm life.

Furthermore, being a sophomore implanted in a first-year residence hall is in and of itself a wonderful position. Not only are you automatically the person to go to for advice, but you can really help in the acclimation of your schoolmates. I was able to get my hall-mates to attend a variety of club meetings and it was beneficial for all. It is also a great way to make friends, as new acquaintances are sprung on the residents. Whereas there are mostly old faces in manufactured upper-classman residence halls, first-year residence halls are full of new people and the perfect opportunities to create new relationships. Finally, living in a first-year residence hall is like choosing the best part of your first year and replaying them over again. You can rejoice in the happiness of acing a USEM, or feel bad when your hallmate fails the Physical Education exemption test. You can laugh at the random hookups, and gawk after a person who has gotten drunk for the first time. A sophomore in a first-year residence hall has ample opportunity to use this as a position from which to have a remarkable experience.

So I ask all of you who may have bad lottery numbers not to fear, for the first-year alternative is not so bad! It allows for accommodations that are above and beyond anything that can be attained through other locations on campus. Living in a first-year residence hall is furthermore a fun experience that allows you to relive all the best times of your first-year experience. In addition, living in these residence halls as a sophomore gives you an awesome position to make new friends, experience a variety of things, and have an absolutely rewarding year. You may pity me for a having a room in Cable, but I in fact pity you;

for while you live in your crowded, lonely double in the castle, Im chilling in my spacious, conveniently-located single that my dorm-mates lovingly call the love-shack.