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Your Housing Assignment Isn’t The End Of The World

As a rising sophomore, I understand the excitement of finding out where and with whom you’re living for the next year. As a rising sophomore who was initially assigned supplemental housing last year, I also understand your initial reaction is probably a whole lot like this. Even though you may be freaking out, I want you to know that it gets better. No matter where you are living, people have had good experiences there in the past.

The first thing you need to know is that your living situation is just that — a living situation. During the year, you’ll have classes to attend, tests to study for, friends to hang out with, and organizations to contribute to, so don’t be surprised if you don’t spend much time in your room anyway.

Now I will proceed to soothe your deepest fears and anxieties about your upcoming living arrangement situation by situation. Feel free to skip right to yours or possibly mix and match if more than one of these applies to you (yikes):

For people not living in East: Lots of people who live in East will tell you very earnestly that they chose to live in East because they “just really wanted the freshman experience, you know?” But to be honest, these people are kind of full of shit. There’s no one stereotypical freshman experience that you need to fall into. I understand the benefit of living with all freshmen, but it’s not like you won’t be around other first year students in Pollock or South. No matter where you are assigned, you will be surrounded by a large group of freshmen. You’ll still have your roommate, and your floormates, and your building mates to become friends with.

Who knows, maybe the fact that you don’t live in East could really bond you with the people living on your floor. Ultimately, the location of your dorm won’t hinder your ability to make friends, especially if there are other freshman around as in the case in the freshman-only Pollock dorms.

For people assigned to a person who seems…incompatible: Not that I’m doubting your Facebook stalking skills, but you really can’t tell whether you’ll get along with someone just because they have a tuba in their profile picture. I know a lot of people who found their roommates on the Penn State Class of 2016 Facebook page who initially seemed to click but  then living together didn’t turn out so well. On the other hand, I also know many random living assignments where Facebook stalking left those people with uneasy feelings before even moving in. But guess what, they turned out to be a great match. What I’m saying is give this person a chance! At the same time, don’t expect to be best friends with your roommate and be swapping clothes before the first football game. Close friendships take time to grow and are often not helped by close proximity between roommates.

For people living in supplemental housing: Coming from a girl who lived in supplemental for a semester, I can tell you that it’s not all bad. Yes, the space is cramped, but it’s not like regular dorm rooms are very spacious. Plus, living in supplemental costs less money than living in a normal room, and saving money is always a bonus. Usually supplemental housing is a temporary living arrangement, and you can probably move out within a month if you really want to. However, I do know people who chose to stay there for the full year because they enjoyed living with their roommates so much. Sometimes living with three to seven other people can be really fun!

Even though your living assignment may seem like a letdown right now, give it a chance! Don’t switch rooms just because you heard that you need to live in East freshman year or you don’t think your assigned roommate seems like best friend material. Freshman year is a big transition, and in the long run, where and with whom you live is less of a big deal than it seems right now. And remember, you can always switch talk to your RA about the situation or go to the housing page on eLion to make the switch if you decide your roommate really is the worst.

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