Dorms: How to Choose?

I’ve been very adamant about getting a single dorm at BS since the application started. Now that the housing survey is here, I’m kind of torn between choosing a single (of course it’s not guaranteed) or a double. As for single, I will have a quiet place to go to and I don’t have to deal with any roommate issues. For double, it might be easier to have a go-to friend if we do get along well and that might work very well. Since I’m entering sophomore year, double might be better for me socially. I’m curious about people on CC’s insights since I’ve heard both good things and bad things about living in doubles. Also, if I do choose double, what are some qualities to look for (and to write down in the survey) for a potential roommate? Any input appreciated!

Personally, I want a single mainly for anxiety related issues, but that’s just me.

I asked my Choate host about this (whether I should request a double or single) and they said a single wouldn’t be all that much worse for your social life—dorms are generally tightknit so you’ll have a good group of comrades no matter what. However, having a roommate is guaranteed social interaction, so if you are worried about that I’d say get a double.

@sparkatzz I highly suggest you request a single. Although this doesn’t guarantee you will receive one, it will offer you the peace of mind that you gave it a go. Our kids have lived collectively in 14 dorm rooms over their high school years, so we have seen a thing or to. They each had roommates their freshmen year and quickly moved to singles in subsequent years. The nice thing about a single for them was it gave them a comfortable space to retreat to after a busy day.

All had close dorm friends or day student friends who would hang out in each other’s rooms to study, watch movies or even sleep over- but they craved their alone time to. For me it’s kind of like when I attend a conference for work, I enjoy being with interesting people all day, but can’t wait to get back to the hotel room to decompress. Our kids all made it work with roommates when they needed to, but each would suggest a single if posssible. I think it is a fallacy that having a roommate increases social interaction, in our case it simply wasn’t true. None of my kids were great friends with their roommates at the end of the year, in fact in some cases it diminished existing relationships.

Not always. And if there is interaction, it’s not always in a good way. Now, almost always, a roommate will be pleasant enough, but there should be no expectation that s/he will be your new BFF. That said, even with a single, assuming you make the effort, there are plenty of opportunities to meet people in your dorm, and elsewhere.

are you the kind of kid who is happy being with your friends ALLLLL the time or do you find yourself needing to take a break and get some alone time? does being with people invigorate you or do you feel tired after being in a group, even if you had a lot of fun? If you are the second type of person in those two examples, request a single for sure.

Our son’s request for a double really backfired - turns out the only thing worse than limited social interaction is negative social interaction with someone you have to share a room with.

At Thacher, all freshmen have singles

Thanks for the insights! I opted in singles for the preference on the housing survey.

And then there’s my kid that wants a triple (he really wants a quad, but there aren’t any). There aren’t any singles at his school (at least for freshmen) and I guess his feeling is, at least if 1 is a dud, there’s someone else to talk to.

If you do put down info for a roommate, focus on how you use your space (prefer quiet, neat, early riser) and attributes that really matter (comfortable not talking, modest, etc.) That’s at least a recipe for a good roommate if not a good friend!

I know way more kids from BS who were housed with someone who became a close friend than I know who had tales of woe. (Not so with college, btw. )

But our school didn’t offer singles to freshmen or new sophomores, so maybe they were more invested in not creating problems they couldn’t solve?

@sparkatzz DS is very much an introvert, so he requested a single for III form so he had a place he could decompress and recharge when he got stressed or run down by too much interaction. He again got a single through the lottery for IV form. He has many friends in the dorm and they hang out in the common room or the larger rooms. He considered a double for next year, but changed his mind and applied for dorm prefect. Singles have worked out very well for him and have not caused his social life to suffer in the least.

Waitt… What school are you going to @sparkatzz ?

@ImWaisian Loomis Chaffee

@sparkatzz ah I see. I was wondering because Exeter hasn’t sent out surveys yet.

@ImWaisian yeah it was on our student portal

@sparkatzz That’s so early! I haven’t even gotten a portal for Choate, besides the GoChoate admissions one…

@CavsFan2003 Haha Idk why we are so early but apparently Choate never sends out emails lol. I’m already planning my classes next year since we are doing course registration in early May.

That’s wild! I’m pretty sure we don’t get housing surveys until may and course registration sheets in like June lol

@sparkatzz @cavsFan2003 In fairness, Loomis just says you have to complete the housing survey by early June. I am, of course, procrastinating and have just had the tab open on my computer for the week with absolutely nothing filled out.

Well I use this kind of things to procrastinate on my actual work at school…so I guess these are two different kinds of procrastination lol.