So, all you current Middlebury students and lucky almost-freshman who visited campus, whats the deal with freshman housing? Which freshman dorms are the best (in terms of room size, type, vibe, etc)
I know there's the commons system too. Is any one better than the others? Does being in a certain commons help you to get housing in that commons when you're an upperclassman (even though you're not required to live in your commons)? And on a related note, which upperclassman dorms are the best?
Any insight is appreciated! I've looked at the website a bit, but it doesn't give you much information.
I don't think you have much choice in any of those questions freshman year. Your commons is decided by which freshman seminar you get into and your dorm is, I think, somewhat related to who is in that class as well (I think they try to keep things grouped together somewhat in that regard). I believe you have to live in the same commons both freshman and sophomore year and then for juniors and seniors, it's strictly by lottery -- which would say to me that being in a particular commons has less to do with room choice than a lottery number. And like any lottery -- everyone has an equal chance of winning or losing (depending on how you look at it).
All of this being said, I really have no idea except that this is accurate but is only what I've gleaned from reading the website, the posts on here and a few other review type webpages (***** etc). <-- not sure they allow any references to other resources on here. But you get the point.
Everything Modadunn said is accurate, I would add that there are certainly 'better' Commons to be placed into for freshman year but there is no way of improving your odds of getting better housing. Most would agree that Ross Commons is the best for fresh/soph because a) you get suites with common rooms and singles and b) particularly useful in the winter, you don't need to go outside to get to the dining hall (flipflops and shorts for breakfast is nice). Other than that, they all have their advantages and disadvantages. Once you are placed into a specific dorm I can give you the details on what's cool/what sucks about that particular dorm.
Thanks guys! How do they decide which seminars are affiliated with which commons? Do they try and put similar topics together (so that there is common interest) or do they try and give each a variety of seminars?
Also, I've heard that you don't want to get put in Battell... But its the largest dorm for freshman, so, assuming there's a 30% chance thats where I'll end up, what would you say the advantages are to living there?
And what is the deal with laundry? If your dorm doesn't have a laundry room, is it worth it to get the laundry service rather than having to lug your clothes to another dorm in the winter?
I'm not sure who these people are who keep saying you don't want to be in Battell. That's what "they" all said when I attended and I felt it was the BEST dorm to be in. Sure, it's not the prettiest building (but it's better than Stewart or Allen IMO) but the important thing to remember is that it's where the majority of First years are. THAT makes it the best dorm to be in. You meet a lot of people here. It was the center of first year activity and social life. It's also very centrally located. Some of my best friends, to this day, were people I met in Battell.
Regardless of what dorm or where on campus, do a lot of kids bring their bikes? And once it gets cold etc, where do they store them? Also... what's the situation with the beds... do they loft? How much room and what kind of containers do people use to store their stuff. Closets? Miniscule or reasonable. We only saw one room when we toured the school and it was a walk BY not a walk IN.. so you basically saw the window, plus you're with a bunch of other people. I figure a room is a room, but now that I am trying to figure out what the kid will need and how I am going to get it there, I feel like I am guessing on the situation.
A lot of people do bring their bikes, there are racks everywhere for the warm weather, and locked storage rooms in each dorm building for the cold weather.
The beds certainly do loft, it saves a lot of space...I didn't loft mine because I had enough space plus I was in a larger room but it can be done very easily.
Even the freshman rooms vary quite a bit in size. The largest, I believe, are in Stewart, while Battell or Allen are probably the smallest. The closets were fine for me, but I didn't have a lot of clothes. My room had like a shelf right above you when you walk in that you can store a lot of stuff. One thing I would really recommend would be the under-bed storage containers that fit a lot of stuff--you might as well use that space.