I moved into my new room today, which just meant going down a few floors and then down the hall. EASIEST MOVE EVER. That doesn’t mean it felt any less weird to move, though. I don’t know anyone else staying in summer housing, so whenever anyone sees anyone else in the hallway we do this weird little awkward nod.
I met my new roommate – she’s from Brazil – and settled in with all my stuff. I just realized that I never posted pictures here of my old room, but I wanna post pictures of my new one soon… it’s quite cozy. MY BED IS BASICALLY A NEST OF BLANKETS AND PILLOWS.
Anyway, I wanted to spend some time today talking about why I love my dorm. It’s only for honors students during the school year, and houses all kinds of students during the summer months. I ended up there kind of on a whim. I mean, my GPA was high enough to join the honors program, so I did. I didn’t really spend much time on that decision, and I’m so glad for that, because participating in honors classes and living in the honors dorm was one of the best choices I’ve made thus far in college.
So without further ado, here are the reasons I love living in the honors dorm.
1. Honors housing doesn’t separate students by major…
The only requirement is that residents must have been accepted into the U of Iowa’s honors program by the time they apply for housing, so we end up being jumbled together. All different kinds of majors and interests and backgrounds.
On my floor alone, I met and befriended people who were majoring in a vast array of subjects: Music education, art, film, microbiology, dance, French, pre-law, engineering, occupational therapy, radiation sciences, international studies… the list goes on and on. Some of my very best friends were people I probably would have never talked to if we didn’t happen to live in the same dorm, because we had no classes together – but we found common ground in being honors students.
2. …which means I didn’t spend all my time around other writers.
So, at Iowa the dorms are divided into these things called living-learning communities, or LLCS for short. They’re themed to fit a certain interest or demographic, with the goal being that you’ll make friends who share your particular interests and talents. Most of the time, an LLC is comprised of just a few floors, but the ENTIRE honors dorm is its own LLC: The Honors LLC. (Duh.)
I strongly considered applying for housing in the Iowa Writers LLC, and I am so glad that I didn’t. I spend so much time writing already. Most of my IRL friends are writers. Most of my online friends are writing. I’m in writing classes (and lit classes) all day.
In the end, I really, truly did not want to spend any more time in such an environment. That’s not to say that it’s unhealthy or anything – absolutely not. Simply put, sometimes I need a break. WRITERS ARE INTENSE, PEOPLES. Joining the Honors LLC gave me that much-need respite from writing, reading about writing, talking about writing, thinking about writing, and writing about writing.
3. The honors center is AMAZING
All students have access to the honors center. (Which must be very helpful to the small percentage of honors underclassmen who chose, for whatever reason, not to live with the rest of their honors peers.) But WE have a SKY WALK connecting the honors dorm to the honors center, so we don’t even have to go outside on especially cold or rainy days/nights!
I love the honors center. There are study rooms, classrooms, a computer lab, a library, and more. I love to curl up on one of the many couches on the third floor – there are loads of windows up there, giving you a lovely view of all the trees planted along the walkway below.
4.The honors dorm is in a very convenient location
We are right next to a dining hall – in fact, we can access it via a tunnel on inclement days! Like I mentioned earlier, we’re within ridiculously close proximity to the honors center, and we’re pretty close to the university’s Housing & Dining offices as well, in case something goes wrong.
My dorm is located closer to the career center, the main administrative buildings, the school library, and downtown than any other dorm. We are not located close to student health services – that would be the west side dorms, not the east side ones – but I’m OK with that. I love that this campus is so walkable, and I ADORE that my dorm is in a prime location for all of that.
5. I’m surrounded by studious people and it’s GREAT
I don’t consider myself to be a naturally studious person. I know this may come as a surprise to many of you, but it’s true. I mean, yeah, I study a lot. But mostly I study because I start comparing myself to other people… so when I’ve been procrastinating on that final paper for much too long, I see other honor students hard at work and remember what I’m supposed to be doing.
Also, quiet hours. QUIET. HOURS. They weren’t always enforced very well on my floor during the first half of the year, but by the second semester this had ceased to be a problem. I love listening to music while I study, but I can’t stand just pure noise, so I’m glad that my dorm had more extensive quiet hours than other dorms.
So, there you have it. MY DORM. I think that we are sometimes overlooked. At a little over three hundred residents when at capacity, we are the smallest dorm on either side of campus. We don’t have anything “extra” in our dorm – just attached to it. So, no important offices. No dining halls. Just a bunch of honors students with their books and papers and laptops. I love Daum Hall, my dorm. I’m proud to have called it home for the past nine months.