We just visited the NEU in the summer. I was very impressed especially with the co-op program. We thought that overall it is a good fit. My son was interested initially, however got completely turned off after visiting the dorm (not sure which building they showed). The idea that he has to share 4 stalls with 28 kids was a NO way!! Is it typical for urban dorms? Any ideas on how to rekindle his interest? Would you share your experience on living in a freshman dorm here?
The honors dorms are great (suites with two or four sharing a bath). The others are typical with what I saw at most colleges (what you describe) and I visited about a dozen urban colleges with my daughter.
You will be hard pressed to find a college, urban or otherwise, where the majority of freshman dorms are not of the communal lavatory type. INV (honors), as kiddie states, is different. Some students claim however that the common lavatory is a way to meet people on their floor. With INV style dorms, students tend to socailize less with their floormates.
My son is living in Speare Hall this year and it was completely renovated over the summer. He is in a double( and yes the room is rather small), but with brand new furniture the space is well utilized. They each have their own closet with two hanging bars, the beds are elevated with a dresser built underneath and they have a desk and chair. There is also shelving that goes above the beds along each side of the room. The bathrooms are brand new, my husband and I peeked in on moving day and were surprised by how nice they were. I'm not sure how many stalls/showers there were, but my son said he has never had to wait to shower. I There is a lounge on each floor and they are new as well with comfy couches and a big screen TV. If it helps, my son said they actually spend very little time in their rooms outside of sleeping. I heard that the other freshman dorms (Stetson East and West) were renovated Summer 2011 and are similar to the what we saw in Speare. By the way, one advantage of a common bathroom for the floor is that they are cleaned daily by maintenance staff, whereas in suite style bathrooms it is the responsibility of the students to clean them...a problem my daughter ran into last year in that her suite mate refused to clean the bathroom no matter how many times my daughter asked her to share the responsibility.
I have to agree with Totoro... Things like communal bathrooms are just part of the freshman experience, just like cramped dorm rooms and messy roommates, and shouldn't be a deal breaker. Even so, communal bathrooms are pretty standard... I visited a lot of friends at a variety of schools, and they all had communal bathrooms.
I lived in Kennedy where I had a suite with a private bathroom, so I was definitely spoiled (although the bathroom was also shared with 5 people), and there are several buildings that feature suite-style rooms so maybe
Maggie wrote "......By the way, one advantage of a common bathroom for the floor is that they are cleaned daily by maintenance staff, whereas in suite style bathrooms it is the responsibility of the students to clean them....."
My daughter started as a freshman at NEU this year and is in IV, with the 2 doubles sharing a connecting bathroom. We asked her, so, did you or your suite mates clean the bathroom yet. Answer - NO. We'll see how this plays out. Funny.
Hiya! NU kid here. Actually, the communal bathroom experience is pretty typical of any college, urban or not. Penn State, for instance, is in the middle of nowhere but has similar 4-stall communal bathrooms. Northeastern is actually unusual in that, after freshman year, it's easy to get OUT of shared bathroom living. I'm a sophomore living in an apartment-style dorm. At a lot of other schools, you're going to be sharing bathrooms with tons of people until your 3rd or 4th year.
The other problem with private bathrooms (like INV, where I lived last year) is that you have to clean it by yourself and buy your own toilet paper! And the sense of community in INV, a freshman dorm with private bathrooms, is much, much less. There are pros and cons to everything. The communal bathroom, in my opinion, is just part of the essential freshman experience.
I think the kid needs to grow up. Pampering him isn't going to make him independent and responsible. Otherwise he might as well stay home and go to community college. Then he wont have to share a room. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but you are not doing him any favors by giving in to his whims. Maybe a stint in the Army will help him appreciate student dorms.
Tough love from totoro! My daughter was definitely swayed by the luxury of honors housing and it has paid off. So she is a little pampered - feeling comfortable in her surroundings makes her happy, not homesick - which translates into more confident, secure, and successful. She is still responsible and independent - after all she is living on her own and taking care of herself (laundry, cleaning her room and bath, etc.)
The above is just a tad harsh... Simply show him other colleges. Only one college I visited didn't have shared bathrooms- but that was because it was the honors dorm, just like the honors dorm here. Once he has perspective, it won't be such a turn-off.
And if they still have a stink about coming here after learning the truth... well then they probably wouldn't have made a great dormmate anyway.
I may have come across as a tad harsh, but I am not the only person that feels this way. There was a recent Newsweek article that talks about this and other problems with colleges that result in poorly prepared students and much higher costs. Yes, private rooms and sushi bars add to the cost of college.
Also, the mods sometimes delete links to outside websites, so if they do, the article I am referring to was in Newsweek and it is called "Is College a Lousy Investment?"
by Megan McArdle, Sep 9, 2012
Also see the comment at the end of the sidebar article:
<QUOTE>"It seems much bigger culprits are lavish dorm suites, roller hockey rinks, jacuzzis, virtual golf courses, outdoor pools, chaise lounges, gourmet food, valet parking and climbing walls -- those perks that have nothing to do with education that McArdle highlights with nifty yellow-trimmed boxes throughout her article.
When I went to college, the dorm rooms were small and cramped and the food was cheap and bad, but we managed to survive the drudgery of it all -- and get a decent education.
Today, college is indeed a "four-year vacation" provided by overindulgent Baby Boomer parents. And 4-year vacations don't come cheap."</QUOTE>
Did it ever occur to you that an immediate access to a basic bathroom stall may be a luxury for your kid, but a necessity for people with some medical conditions?
Thank you all for your helpful ideas. People are so nice on this forum. I appreciate both students and parents prospective. I did not think about who cleans the bathrooms question - one more thing to put on son's training list . The honors dorm sounds nice, definitely an incentive. We did not see other dorms in Boston, and in Harvard they did not show inside the dorms.
My son was in IV last year with the shared bathroom between two doubles and the bathroom got so disgusting he ended up cleaning it himself. I told him going into this year things like this should be spelled out in advance!