Off she goes!

<p>My husband and daughter just left the house so he could drive her to the Amtrak station so she could get herself to Swarthmore for RTT. I know it's been posted that this experience has helped turn high school kids into college kids. Even in just the last two minutes, it seems to be the beginning into turning me into the parent of a college kid rather than of a high school kid. I'm glad I have a ton of things to do today. </p>

<p>I'll be there tomorrow for the 11:00 talk and for lunch. Anyone else?</p>

<p>I, too, just sent my kid off to Penn Station with backpack and sleeping bag. He looked so...little. I resisted the temptation to remind him to adhere to the rules in the Overnight Agreement. Husband and I will be following sheepishly tomorrow--there's probably no logical way CC parents can meet up, but I'll be sending thought waves, searchingavalon.</p>

<p>We should have had CC teeshirts made up so we could find each other at the parents' lunch...</p>

<p>My husband just called to tell me he left her at the Station. I said, "Isn't this scary???" He said, "No, it's just a train; she'll be fine." I said, "Not scary for her!! Scary for US!!!"</p>

<p>Awww... my son did not go but I know what you mean. Listen, guys, even when they are in college, they look little. You just have to remind yourself that now they are college kids and to give them SPACE.</p>

Even in just the last two minutes, it seems to be the beginning into turning me into the parent of a college kid rather than of a high school kid.


<p>That, too! The great thing about a pre-frosh visit is that it spreads the anticipation, excitement, anxiety out over a four-month period for the kids and the parents. Instead of hitting like a ton of bricks in late August! Everybody can get used to it incrementally. </p>

<p>I think today's options for getting connected to the college through visits, internet students groups, and e-mails to roommates make the whole process much less stressful, not so much like diving into the great unknown in August.</p>

<p>Yup, in a way, I wish my son had gone to RTT. Late August, it did hit me like a ton of bricks - and I'm not a sentimental person. My husband and I quarrelled a whole lot on the car ride back from orientation weekend - for no apparent reason. That was my manifestation of being emotional. My mom, on the other hand, who was visiting us, cried for 2 days...until she heard in person from her grandson :)</p>

<p>Before this dissolves into a discussion on separation that should probably be moved to the Parents Forum, I wanted to compliment the Swarthmore admissions office on fostering the weaning process by confining the parents' events to one day in a two day schedule, and by burying the information in the Spec's packet instead of issuing a formal invite to parents (at least, wedidn't get one).'s noon and he should be there by now and why hasn't he called?? And what should I wear??? (Just kidding. No I'm not. Yes I am.)</p>

I wanted to compliment the Swarthmore admissions office on fostering the weaning process.


<p>That is a very strong theme at Swarthmore that becomes even more apparent during the freshman drop-off/orientation events. You will really enjoy Dean Gross' attitude, approach, and hilarious stories at the parents' info session. </p>

<p>It is clear that the Swarthmore administration understands that college is a time for kids to become adults and the only way for that to happen is to let the kids to work it out. That it won't always be easy, but that they will do just fine. </p>

<p>We've seen so many little examples of how caring the school is that has been easy to let go. Heard about one last night, actually. Because they initially reserve too many rooms for incoming freshmen and special needs in order to have some flexibility, some sophmores with bad housing lottery numbers end up on a priority waiting list for rooms. Technically, if there is ANY room left in the room draw, a student MUST pick that room when his lottery number comes up, no matter how unattractive, or be placed on a low priority wait list. The reality is that it would be better to be on the high priority involuntary waiting list and get one of the good rooms released after freshmen are assigned. </p>

<p>Last night, as the tail end of the room draw approached, the Dean of Housing stepped in and stopped the lottery. She called the remaining homeless sophmores over and, instead of going in lottery order, reviewed the available options informally to see who anyone really WANTED those remaining rooms and who really DIDN'T want those rooms. Continuing in lottery order would have screwed over both those who did not want those rooms (by forcing them to take them) and those who did want those rooms (by not giving them the opportunity them to take them). </p>

<p>Instead, she doled out the remaining rooms by request. Those who prefered to take their chances on the involuntary priority waiting list were allowed to volunteer for that; those who prefered the remaining rooms were allowed to pick those, regardless of lottery number. To me, that level of personal interest at 9:30 at night in a gymnasium by a Dean is what makes me so comfortable with the school. I think it's also why the faculty, students, and parents have such a high degree of trust in the institution.</p>

<p>The funny part: as the Dean talked to the kids on the wait list, she told them that her job would be to get them all rooms that they are happy with. Their job would be to keep their parents at bay long enough for her to do her job!</p>

<p>ID, did your daughter get a good dorm? My son went through this informal process yesterday (was one of the homeless sophomores) and in the end, landed in a 3-room lodge near Ben West with 3 of his friends and another friend whom he knows but not as well...</p>

<p>No. My D and her group of four were absolutely dead in the lottery -- four abysmal lottery numbers. She was praying to not get a room and get put on the priority wait list. That way, she'll end up with a room in a good dorm and will have used up her 3rd cohort lottery number, meaning that she'll have 1st and 2nd cohort high numbers in later years. You are guaranteed to have one year with a bottom-third number for your class, one with a middle-third, and one with a top-third -- a very equitable system.</p>

<p>Her nightmare scenario was being the last sophmore to have to pick a room in the lottery (Mary Lyon basement). She was very happy when Myrt stepped in and stopped the process before she had to pick.</p>

<p>The Lodges are very cool. Originally built as sorority houses in the early 1900s, they are like little Hansel and Gretel attached cottages -- stone with slate roofs, shaded by dense foliage. One big room downstairs for 3, a second room for 2 upstairs along with a bath and a little kitchenette. There's a basement, subject to occasional flooding, that can be used as an unauthorized single or for an available bed with a little privacy (I am blissfully ignorant of why that would be desireable!). </p>

<p>Lodges can be co-ed or single-sex, but two of them have to have at least one guy and the other two of them have to have at least one female. With the right group of friends, they can be terrific, I think. </p>

<p>There's a picture of two Lodges on this page. </p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Just scroll down to the "Bond Hall and the Lodges" photo. Two attached Lodges are shown on the left. The Lodges, Bond, and Worth enclose an gorgeous grassy courtyard shown in this and the Worth photos -- the scene of the annual "Worthstock" all-day music festival/outdoor party and many informal bar-b-qs during the warm weather months.</p>

<p>ID, then will your daughter have to wait for the freshman waitlist to be closed before she knows where she's going? That might not happen until June. Anyway, good luck to her. </p>

<p>I am feeling a little better that my son does not have to live off-campus.</p>

<p>Maybe as late as August. Myrt will call her and the roommate with a number of rooms to chose from after sorting out the freshman rooming assignments.</p>

<p>They reserve 200 doubles for freshmen, but only use 190 of them. There are also extra rooms reserved for dorm computer techs, special circumstances, etc. that aren't all used. Plus, there are kids who buy a room in the lottery and then end up going abroad or moving off-campus. The likelihood is that she'll be offered a room that she would have gladly taken with a decent lottery number in the first place -- Mertz, Willets, Danawell, Parrish, etc. Could even be Wharton or Alice Paul, although she thinks it more likely to be a dorm that a larger contingent of freshmen rooms than those two as they try to have some freshmen in as many dorms as possible.</p>


<p>I'm going to be a freshman at Swat next year and would really like a room in there anything I can do to increase my chances of getting assigned there? I stayed there as a spec and really liked it. Would it be ok if I said I wanted to be in Willets on my housing form? Would it make any difference?</p>


<p>Yeah. Write in the comments section of the form that Willets would be your first choice. The only dorm that they they won't honor requests for is Wharton, because everybody wants to live there. </p>

<p>They say they can't guarantee requests for the other dorms, but I think they try when they can. I doubt they get a lot of requests for Willets and it has the most freshman rooms of all the dorms.</p>

<p>why does everyone want to live in wharton?</p>

<p>It is the most beautiful looking dorm with some of the best views. My son is in a quad and one window is overlooking the amphitheatre. The view from the window is spectacular. The other window looks into the bell tower, again, beautiful. The inside is quite nice too....there are annexes with a set of sofas, microwave and a TV set (not flat large screen, though). Then there is a large screen in the basement. Overall, a nice living experience, I'd say.</p>

<p>Yeah. Wharton is the nicest of the co-ed dorms. Very pretty building. Great location. Terrific courtyard that makes it pretty social. It's usually the first dorm to fill up in the upperclass lotteries. Not as many freshmen, so probably not quite as good as Mertz or Willets for meeting a lot of people.</p>

<p>Mertz is a good compromise. A little institutional because it is a newer dorm, but very social with huge common room and lots of lounges.</p>

<p>Willets is mostly doubles, so it has a high concentration of freshmen and sophmores. Tends to be the "party" dorm, although I gather that's been toned down quite a bit in recent years with a couple of floors of quieter freshmen.</p>

<p>Dana and Hollowell are OK. They tend to not be the most popular because students aren't wild about the maize-like halls. </p>

<p>Too early for Alice Paul to really have an identity. </p>

<p>Mary Lyon is a really nice old dorm, but it's a 10 or 15 minute hike from the center of campus.</p>

<p>Fact of the matter is that you'll end up living in four different dorms over the years and all of them have their pluses and minuses.</p>

<p> that the one that's "surrounded" by Danawell, the ampitheathre, and Tarble?</p>

<p>Thanks for the great info!</p>

<p>Yes. That's Wharton.</p>

<p>BTW, Parrish is a nice place to live, too -- except, maybe, during the construction. However, it is single-sex with females and males in the other.</p>

<p>Wow! Things have certainly changed! I was sent from Colorado to Swarthmore as a freshman. I had been admitted to UPenn and Swarthmore and chose the smaller school. My parents saw the campus for the first time at my graduation. Over the years, I lived in Willets, Parrish and the Lodges. </p>

<p>For our son (h is another Swattie from Colorado), a musician, we traveled to each school he considered so he could see the campus, meet teachers, have trial lessons, try the food, see how conservatories meshed with arts and sciences on each campus, and we are grateful that he has been able to make a more informed choice than we did. </p>

<p>Of course, despite the fact that we plunged into college from a level of ignorance we fortunately do not have to tolerate today, we loved that school and I can't think of a place I would rather have gone!</p>