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The Suite Life

October 26, 2006   

As a first-year student, you’re going to have a roommate. You might even have three, which happened to me. I deliberately asked for a quad, solely through probability; if I had three roommates, the odds were I’d get along well with at least one of them, right?

This was the case for most quads. I quickly realized most of the people I’d be hanging out with were stationed on the other side of campus, which meant I would not be in my own room often, at least socially. Luckily, I had a friend who was in the same situation, and we spent many an early morning tromping across Martin’s Way, back to our own rooms. He was also in a quad, but the quads in South, while built with the same floorplan of common room/desk room and bedroom as they are in Dunham, also had their own bathroom. The main issue of living with three other girls was the sheer lack of privacy — I’d need to read, and I could either sit at my desk and tune out the TV, music and goings-on of the three other girls, or go into the bedroom and read by flashlight, hoping not to disturb my sleeping roommates. Hypothetically, my friend in South could have gone in the bathroom and studied under the sink.

This is not to say my roommates and I parted on bad terms — even our RA realized that Dunham 330 was an anomaly. The boy’s quad down the hall got along swimmingly, but we were a case of subtle annoyances and bitten tongues. Living with so many people did have its plusses: I met a lot of people, the fridge was usually stocked, and I had access to my roommate’s printer. But when the year finally ended, we were all equally glad to leave Dunham forever.

All I really mean is there’s a reason I have a single this year. Even better than having my own room, full of my own stuff (absolutely no Bob Marley posters or those tapestries so common in dormitories), with my own door that I can lock, is the fact that I live with five other people. This is the suite life.

Two of the residential buildings on campus, Babbitt and Milbank, are dedicated to suites. Suites consist of five rooms: four singles and a double. Suites also have a kitchen and common room. Very early on this year, I realized there was absolutely no reason to leave my suite, whereas last year, there was no reason for me to stay in my room.

My suite provides the perfect combination of society and privacy; we all watch the Mets games in the common room (much to the chagrin of my father, a Cardinals fan), but if I need to study, I actually can, in the comfort of my own room. Two of my suitemates have cars, and on Saturdays, we load up and enjoy the $6 lunch buffet at Minar. Earlier this year, we took a collective trip to Wal-Mart to buy lamps and tablecloths, and only recently we found the absolute steal of a 6 foot couch and chair combo for $100 at a local junk sale. I blew up some photographs I had of all of us, taped them to the walls, but we’ve since decided we need to sit on the couch together and have our photo taken to replace the current photos  — the perfect portrait of our suite.