Freshman Housing: Single or With Roommates

<p>Okay, I will be at harvard in the fall. I am filling out my housing application and need some advice. I am debating between living with roommates in a suite or getting a single.</p>

<p>I heard the singles are in the Union dorms, but I dont really see what the complain is about. -It is not in the yard, but just outside the yard (so, not that far).
-I will have more freedom
-I will get less disturbed. With roommates, little things like coming late and turning the lights on and disturbing my sleep may cause me to do worse in school. I am the type of person who sleeps 8 hours everyday to function at best.
-I will be free to chill with friends, and have privacy in my own dorm.
-I am not overly social (as in partying, i dont drink) , but love to make close friends to hang out with etc etc....
-I am pre-med, which means I will be aiming for 3.7ish GPA and will have to study more than most others.</p>

<p>Cons of a single dorm:
-get lonely
-missing out on the supposedly college experience (I think this may be overrated and if it causes me to do bad in my classes etc, then I dont believe it will be worth it).
-not in the yard
-won't have those bonding experiences (although, if I get stuck with bad roommate(s), I think my experience wont be too good).</p>

<p>I am thinking I will go in to a single dorm first year and then once I get to know people etc, I will go in with blockmates for 2nd year.</p>

<p>Any advice/thoughts on my situation will be very helpful as this is due in couple days.</p>

<p>Just because you list a single as your first choice, there is no guarantee you will receive one. There are always many more requests for singles than available spaces. No dorms are all singles for freshmen.</p>

<p>So what should I write in my essay? Should I just describe myself and why I would like a single. Will I be missing out? Should I go in with 2 or 3 roommates?? Anyone with experience please give me soem advice.</p>

<p>With the details you provided, it sounds as if requesting a single room is the very best personal option.</p>

<p>If your goal is just to get good grades and not to take every opportunity to get to know the members of the most interesting group of people you'll ever be a part of, I don't know why you picked Harvard. You can get roughly the same quality of education at the top 20 schools in the country, and your GPA would probably be better if you had picked number 19 or 20. The thing that makes Harvard Harvard is the students. </p>

<p>I don't believe that anyone is a "good fit" for not having roommates freshman year, unless you're so obnoxious that you'll actively ruin other peoples' experiences. But assuming that's not the case for you, I don't see why you would want to avoid a great opportunity to make friends. If nothing else, it's a great lesson on how to deal with other people. While not everyone ends up close with their freshman year roommates, why not attempt it? A family member of mine went to Harvard and his freshman year roommate ended up his Best Man at his wedding. </p>

<p>
[quote]
-I will have more freedom

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</p>

<p>Having roommates =/= slavery.</p>

<p>
[quote]
-I will get less disturbed. With roommates, little things like coming late and turning the
lights on and disturbing my sleep may cause me to do worse in school.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>If your problem is not wanting roommates to turn the lights on while you're sleeping, the solution isn't to avoid roommates altogether. I am guessing you never shared a room growing up.</p>

<p>
[quote]
I am the type of person who sleeps 8 hours everyday to function at best.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>You won't next year.</p>

<p>
[quote]
-I will be free to chill with friends, and have privacy in my own dorm.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>You can still have privacy if you share a room with someone.</p>

<p>
[quote]
-I am not overly social (as in partying, i dont drink) , but love to make close friends to hang out with etc etc....

[/quote]
</p>

<p>A lot of people at Harvard don't drink, and among those who do, very few throw insane parties in their freshman dorms every weekend. </p>

<p>
[quote]
-I am pre-med, which means I will be aiming for 3.7ish GPA and will have to study more than most others.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Almost everyone is aiming for a "3.7ish GPA" freshman year and like half of your class will plan to be pre-med. So your "most others" is actually a pretty small number.</p>

<p>^^QFA. also dont presume single = no disturbance. walls at harvard can be quite thin. having to tell a roommate/suitemate to shut up is a lot easier than telling an entryway-mate to.</p>

<p>@Dwighteishenhower</p>

<p>-I know having roommates isn't slavery, just an invasion to privacy. I'd like to be able to be myself and have "me" time, which I dont believe I will be able to if I have roommates. (You are right, I have never shared a room, at least not for the past 6 years). </p>

<p>-I think it is possible to get 8 hours of sleep everyday by effective time-management. I talked to many people and one girl who was at Harvard Med School said she got 7-8 hours of sleep everday in Harvard undergrad, literally.</p>

<p>-Now, how about little things like having to go to the library during the winter cuz your roommates sleeping etc.? That must get annoying or at least will for me as Ive always studied how I wanted, when I wanted, where I wanted. I'm spoiled (I admit it) and am thinking having roommates will just make the transition into first year more hectic. </p>

<p>Any advice, personal stories, reflecting, sympathizing with me on this freshman housing process will be very appreciated.</p>

<p>My daughter couldn't even fit her desk into her room freshman year; it had to be in the common room. Therefore, she studied there.
One of the things you will learn in college is to be flexible. And keep in mind that even if you get a single freshman year, it doesn't mean you'll have one sophomore year.</p>

<p>Judging by your responses, Dr. DwightEisenhower deduces that you'll profit more from learning to be flexible than the 3 minutes of studying time you lose by walking to Lamont.</p>

<p>okay Dwight, so you really think the social interaction living together is that important? Not only are we already living on campus, but is it important to see each other every moment of the day (because, oh, the kids at harvard are so amazing). I mean I seriously think that I might like living with others for like couple days, but then I think I will just be annoyed, especially if there is a jerk in the mix.</p>

<p>Making friends > GPA (up to a point, obviously). I think that living in a single will inhibit social interactions because it will make it much easier for you to isolate yourself. Plus, your roommate got into Harvard also: he/she is probably pretty cool/interesting/smart/fun to be around.</p>

<p>
[quote]
okay Dwight, so you really think the social interaction living together is that important? Not only are we already living on campus, but is it important to see each other every moment of the day (because, oh, the kids at harvard are so amazing). I mean I seriously think that I might like living with others for like couple days, but then I think I will just be annoyed, especially if there is a jerk in the mix.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>It sounds like you are a bit antisocial. Avoiding social interaction for fear of the possibility of unideal interaction is not a healthy behavior.</p>

<p>And Drought makes a good point. You could be the dumbest/most uninspiring out of your roommates. Such is Harvard.</p>

<p>I'd like to chime in with a dissenting opinion from the majority here. (I'm an alum, graduated 2 years ago.)</p>

<p>Living in a single freshman year is fine. You won't be starved for social interaction or for friends, I have plenty of friends who had singles in Greenough or Hurlbut freshman year and their social lives didn't suffer for it. Personally, I lived in Wigglesworth and my roommates had absolutely nothing to do with how social I was; all of my friends came from courses, the student groups I was involved with, or those I met other ways throughout the course of my years in college. </p>

<p>I too am a person that values "me" time. I function best when I have a sanctuary where I'm not constantly forced to interact with other people. I'm capable of living with others, but is it my preference? No. Privacy isn't something people should be so quick to discount, and someone valuing their privacy or the ability to spend time alone doesn't make them "anti-social." Being that way is no better or worse than being the kind of person who relishes constant social interaction, it's just different. So to the OP, if you know yourself well enough that you feel you'd be happiest and healthiest with a single, go ahead and ask for one. </p>

<p>It really isn't as big a deal as some folks are trying to make it out to be.</p>

<p>A Union dorm like Hurlbut has plenty of social interaction between single room occupants. There is a central, common area in the middle of a ring of rooms, so it is almost more like a suite in the upperclass houses. Study breaks, field trips and other activities are offered all the time too. Students often study in the common area, and gather there at night.</p>

<p>thanks for the great advice and information......as of now, I am leaning towards getting a single. I am not an introvert and do enjoy going to parties (just not drinking etc) so I think single would be arite for me. Plus, as compmom said, there's a lotta interaction btw single room occupants. </p>

<p>I just don't want to be stuck with intolerable roommates which will cause my mood, grades, and year to suffer. Any more thoughts or suggestions will be appreciated.</p>

<p>I would like to recommend that you rethink your current prejudice against roommates. You are already labeling potential roommates as " intolerable", demonstrating , perhaps, your own intolerance. You be assigned to share a room even if a single is requested. </p>

<p>Your mood is controlled by you. Your roommate(s)or floormates will certainly have some habits which annoy you. It is time to realize you will need to be tolerant and creative in order to maintain the high productivity you've managed under your parents' roof. </p>

<p>No one will be there to create the perfect work and sleep environment for you. You will have to learn the art of compromise. That may mean learning to sleep while a roommate or suitemate is making noise, has the light on, or has guests. Earplugs, sound-muffling earphones, sleep masks (or a towel over your eyes), and utter fatigue, can aid your sleep. Studying can be done in any library around campus, some of which are opened 24 hours a day.</p>

<p>Even with a single, it may be a subdivided room, so the walls are just very thin wallboard (example--Greenough). One can hear entire phone conversations clearly through the walls. Thus, a single may not offer you quiet nor privacy.</p>

<p>The workload will almost guarantee a lack of 8 hours of sleep a night. Most Harvard students are so involved with their ECs and/or athletics that 8 hour sleeps are only a weekend luxury. (You may learn the power of the nap.)</p>

<p>Everybody at Harvard is gunning for med, law, business, or grad school admissions GPAs. Yet most learn to become socially adept, cooperative neighbors in their Houses. You can always move off campus to a single apartment after freshman year.</p>

<p>In the meantime, embrace your classmates and their quirky living habits. You'll have a lot more fun.</p>

<p>fauve- i agree with you on the points that you made. However, I just think a single will make for an easier transition for me. I intend to get roommates in the 2nd year. If you really think about it, there are pros and cons to both and I intend to experience both, but in the first year, I just think a single would be a better choice. Can someone give me pros and cons to a single at Harvard, specifically, as in the types of dorms they get, are most people who live alone pretty normal, etc?</p>

<p>It sounds as if you would be more comfortable in a single. By requesting a single, you may or may not receive one. Hopefully you'll get lucky.</p>

<p>One thing that has yet to be pointed out, as I understand it each freshman is first randomly sorted into one of the three yards. It is after this that your housing request will even be read. So right there, you have a 2 out of 3 chance that you are NOT part of the union dorm's yard and in a yard with fewer singles.</p>

<p>D was in a suite that combined into a super suite. She had three roommates, 2 bedrooms, and common room that connect to the second suite of 4 via a private hallway with common bathroom. It had pros and cons. By the end of the year she was looking forward to her upperclassman housing which should be a double w/ study and bathroom, but at the same time I don't think she would have traded getting to know her roommates (even though she did not block with any of them).</p>

<p>I definitely understand your concerns regarding life in a single. On my housing app, I stated that I wanted to have two roommates, but I ended up in a single in Hurlbut this past year. At first, I was a little worried about missing out on the "roommate experience" or feeling excluded from the Yard, but Hurlbut turned out to be wonderful - I could hang out/visit friends wherever they were, but I still had my own space.</p>

<p>As for your list of pros of life in a single, I honestly believe that having a roommate would not drastically affect you in these areas. With a roommate, you can have freedom (they're not trying to limit you), you don't have to be constantly disturbed (make your concerns known to them if necessary), and you don't have to party or drink. Also, everyone there wants to succeed as much as you do, or they wouldn't be there in the first place. If you anticipate this many problems arising from you having a roommate, I suggest that you request no roommates. That being said, I believe that the school chooses rooming assignments very well, and I hope that whichever rooming situation you may have next year suits you well.</p>