Tag Archives: dorms

Students’ Say On: Dorm Life

Dorm life can be the best of times and the worst of times. The dorm roommate you have in college can become your best friend, who you hang out with and eat ice cream with, have deep talks late at night with, and stay in contact with for the rest of your life. Or he or she can be the kind of person who makes you get up earlier than you have to in order to go out of your way to walk on the other side of campus, even though it adds 8 extra minutes to your walk, just so you don’t have to pass by them and see their face on your way to class. From sharing a bathroom and an itty-bitty room to never having your own personal space for long, dorm life is an adventure.

This week, we asked students to tell us about their experience living in the dorms. Most of the students we talked to had moved out of the dorms into either an apartment or townhouse, but they still remembered their time in the halls very well. It was common for students to have lived in more than one dorm during their time living on campus.

“The worst thing about dorm life, according to most students, was, not surprisingly, the small and cramped rooms and having people around all the time.” Photo from: http://www.radford.edu/content/residence-life/home/residence-halls/muse-hall/gallery/jcr%3Acontent/par/gallery/items/galleryitem_0/largeimage.img.jpg/1433961867056.jpg

Our main question was, “What’s dorm life like?”

One student’s answer: “It smells like pot. And it’s really loud. And when it’s 80 degrees, they turn the heat on. When it’s 30 degrees, they turn the A/C on. So that’s fun.”

When asked what their favorite thing about living on campus was, the main answer was the proximity to everything, whether it be food places, classes, or friends. “If I wanted to go home and take a nap, I don’t have to walk up a hill. If I wanted Wendy’s, I can get Wendy’s. And it came along with a food plan, and I like food,” said one student. “All my friends live right next to me,” said another. Others talked about liking the study spaces and how it was a great way to make friends and meet new people.

The worst thing about dorm life, according to most students, was, not surprisingly, the small and cramped rooms and having people around all the time either next door, floors above you, floors below you, or in your room. Having to share such a small room was another least favorite thing about the dorms.

We also asked if they could change one thing about the dorms, what would it be? Most said everyone should have their own bathroom. Another popular answer was to have parking that was closer to campus. “You have to park 3,000 miles away,” said one student, and she wasn’t exaggerating much.


Is the Renovation Needed Now?

“Maybe the university should focus more on maintaining what is already here rather than advancing one area and leaving another lacking.” Photo from: http://i1.wp.com/www.andassoc.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/WhittHall.png?fit=476%2C305

Anyone who has been on Radford’s campus has seen the various renovations that have been happening across the campus. Whitt Hall has been under reconstruction for the entirety of this academic year, and the old apartments that used to be home to several humanities departments are long gone and are being replaced with a new parking lot. Just this year, the new College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences building, or CHuBS, opened up after several years of construction. Several of the dorms in Moffett Quad were reopened after renovations last academic year. In fact, it seems like as soon as one construction project is finished, a new one begins. All of these new improvements are very nice and provide great facilities for both students and staff, but is all of it really necessary right now?

There’s no arguing that many of the new renovations and additions to Radford campus are needed; many of these buildings are very old and are in desperate need of an upgrade. But the real question is whether or not these renovations are the best option right now. After all, there have been instances of various departments around campus lacking in funding and supplies. So far, none of these instances have been a real issue, but maybe the university should focus more on maintaining what is already here rather than advancing one area and leaving another lacking. This is not to be ungrateful for the new facilities that we have (they are very nice and very helpful) but more so for the idea of spreading the help around and making sure every department gets what they need first before we spend more money. Not to mention that sometimes all of the construction going on can cause a bit of trouble for students as it often closes off pathways people typically use.

Dorm Life vs. Apartment Life

The vast majority of people in college either live in a dorm or in an apartment. Few people actually come from the town or city that their university or college resides in, so we need alternate lodgings while we’re away. Most college students tend to live in the dorms because most universities require that you live in a dorm for at least one year of your college career. But plenty of people also live in apartments near the college campus, and many people often wonder which is better.

apartment listings
“Many who do live in an apartment have to work within a budget, and utility bills can add up very quickly.” Photo from: http://suffolkjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/listings.jpg

One of the upsides to living in a dorm is there are no bills to pay. Once you’ve paid your tuition, you’re set; you can use as much heat, water, and electricity as you want without worry. The same cannot be said for those who live in an apartment. Many who do live in an apartment have to work within a budget, and utility bills can add up very quickly. This leads into the issue of roommates as well. Practically everyone in a dorm has at least one roommate, and some even have three or four. The same can be said of most people who live in an apartment. While there is the option to live by yourself, most people cannot afford to do so and have to get at least one other person to live with them. However, the main difference between having a roommate in a dorm and a roommate in an apartment is that in an apartment, utility bills can be very high/expensive with multiple people. A single person can increase the bill significantly for the other roommate(s).

The flip side, however, is that in an apartment there is almost always more space and everyone has their own room. One of the worst parts about living in a dorm is the lack of space and the fact that you have to share a small room with another person. While you still have to share space inside of an apartment, you have your own room at least. This extra space can help ease a lot of the tension that one usually finds inside of a dorm room. There is also the benefit of having your own personal kitchen and not being subjected to a limited meal plan. With your own kitchen, you can make whatever meals you want whenever you want them and store whatever food you want without any real hassle or fear of it going bad. At the end of the day, it comes down to your own personal preference as to where you want to live and what you want to sacrifice.

Three ways to deal with political monsters

Do you live in an house, apartment, or dorm room where the people have different political views than you? Do you have trouble having conversation with them because everything they say is completely the opposite of what you believe? I have the same problem. I’m a freshman and live off campus with my family. Unfortunately, they are all republicans and I am a democrat. Here are the three ways to deal with living with people with opposing viewpoints.

         1.Be respectful

I know what if feels like to deal with people who, in my opinion, have stupid and ridiculous ideals. They believe that abortion should be illegal, gay marriage should be illegal because of “tax reasons,” and Donald Trump is a better candidate than Hillary Clinton. Yes, that is a real statement said in my household. They have values that are the exact opposite of mine and they don’t shy at voicing those views. However, I discovered that voicing my direct opposition to their statements can come off as rude and confrontational which, in the end, will only cause issues within my relationships. I learned that even though I think their beliefs are barbaric and promote inequality, that being respectful and trying to understand where they are coming from is more beneficial for my relationships and keeping the house peaceful and in order is more important than ranting and being vocal with my disapproval.  

Can't we all just get along? Photo from mintpressnews
Can’t we all just get along? Photo from mintpressnews

         2. You can be respectful without losing your own opinion

Finding a balance between being respectful and not losing or letting go of your own beliefs can be difficult, but not impossible. When one of your roommates, friends, or family members decides to bring up something political, you are allowed to voice your opinion, whether it be the same or the opposite of what the other person says. All you have to do is say phrases such as “I understand what you’re saying but here is what I think,” or “I respect your belief/opinion, but I have to disagree and here’s why.” Saying these statements will allow for respect to still exist but also ensure that you aren’t passive with your opinions and won’t leave you feeling like you don’t have a voice.

        3. Pick and choose your arguments

If you’re like me, you will have someone say something ridiculous almost everyday if not more than once a day or you will have someone bring up the same argument multiple times no matter how often you prove them wrong. This scenario is when you need to choose whether or not the argument is worth your time and effort. Sometime people will be stuck in their ways and no matter what you say, there beliefs won’t change. That is when you need to move and and decide to stop arguing the topic, there is no point. By picking and choosing your arguments, you will save your time and effort as well as keep peace in the house and in your mind.

These three points should make political issues and arguments easier to handle. I know some people are so ridiculous and stubborn that these point won’t work, so in that case, why even try anymore? Some people are simply not worth it and figuring out who those people are will make your life happier and more peaceful in the long run.

Quiet hours

I tend to listen to my music throughout the day. While I get up and get ready, through doing my work, sometimes while walking to class, and even while getting ready for bed at the end of the day. It is something I have found to help me stay on time and motivated throughout the day.

I also tend to leave my door open when I’m in the room, and I’ve enjoyed seeing the variety of musical tastes from my neighbors along my floor. It’s entertaining to the shift in the genre of music throughout the day, and sometimes it’s surprising or can help me make a connection with the listener.

“It’s always a bit shocking to wake up some mornings to Lil Wayne coming from down the hallway at full blast at six in the morning.”

One thing that does bother me though, is that sometimes people feel it necessary to blast their playlist at 11 pm or later, and in some cases extremely early in the morning.

I understand that you may be a night owl, or an extremely early riser, but could you please have your volume reflect the time of day?

It’s always a bit shocking to wake up some mornings to Lil Wayne coming from down the hallway at full blast at six in the morning. Or to be snuggled in bed and on the brink of sleep at 11:45, only to be jolted awake by Taylor Swift coming from the other end. Or maybe above or below. Some headphones, or even just taking it down a few notches would be great. We don’t all want to feel like our hall is at a concert with the music and bass blaring.

By all means, please do enjoy your music. But maybe be a little more aware of others around you during courtesy and quiet hours? Not everyone can start their day with some wall shaking rock, but rather quietly ease into it; or end their day with jolting dance, but to wind down with the night.

On campus students may be in for a big surprise

RU freshmen may be living with an additional roommate when they move into their residential dorms later this month.

The news broke to students choosing to live on campus this year via email on August 1, 2014, when students were given their dorm assignments.

Megan Gates, a freshman who was told she has “been assigned to a temporarily tripled room”, has granted Whim access to the email she received from RU. She, or one of her roommates will “move to a permanent assignment as space becomes available.”

Within Gates’ email, RU provided a link to their webpage which further explained what it means to be temporarily tripled. RU states on its website that the three students will share “three beds (one set of beds are bunked), two desks, two chairs, and a dresser.”

For three students, there will only be two closets for them to share.

A dorm room with two residents.

The email from Residential Life also said “We foresee the majority of the tripled rooms vastly decreasing prior to the university move-in date. Residents of the room will receive email notification when their room has been de-tripled.”

Ashley Underhill, a student administrator for Res life, spoke with Whim hoping to “ensure the incoming class enjoys their time at RU.”

When asked how many freshman are being affected by this situation, Underhill said “If I had to guess, about half of muse and 1/16 of all the other halls.” She went on to explain that “not everyone is a freshman that will be tripled, some choose to be in a triple with friends.”

Freshman Leah Valdez is one of the estimated 1/16 of the students who have been tripled outside of Muse. Valdez, who successfully requested one of her roommates, has been assigned a tripled room in Peery hall, doesn’t believe RU will be able to fix the situation as quickly as they suggested in Gates’ email.

Valdez told Whim, “I think they’re just saying that they’re trying to figure it out before move in day to make us feel more comfortable.”

Whim was told by Underhill, “Res Life has been working on this since we […] left last spring.” Res life isn’t being unreasonable either saying that, “[t]hose who have medical reasons or have other important reasons to be un-tripled will be first priority”

Underhill stated she believed the reason for the situation was “partly due with the halls being down [the] other part is due to Radford’s constant need to expand and have each upcoming class bigger than the last.” She was told “Draper Hall, Boiling Hall, and Pocahontas hall” will all not be in use at the beginning of this semester.

She does “not know the reasons why they decided to close all three at once but [does] know that they will be renovating them so that students next year can use them, and they will be better than before, the plans for the renovation are in the Res Life office in Heth Hall.”

While Res Life workers such as Underhill continue to work towards a solution, freshmen such as Valdez are still upset. Valdez has said, “we are the largest freshmen class they’ve had and I just feel like they weren’t prepared for this many incoming freshmen.”

Debating dorms: Draper and Stuart

As far as the scale of RU dorms goes, Muse and Floyd are the extremes. One is for more introverted Honors Academy students, whereas the other houses most of the freshmen from every major. Draper and Stuart are closer to the middle of this scale. Although the types of students that they attract are similar, this doesn’t mean that these dorms are at all the same. Continue reading Debating dorms: Draper and Stuart

Smart is moderately appealing

Something that I notice is missing from the population of college students I’ve been watching for the past three and a half years is that they don’t seem interested in acting smart. By acting, I don’t mean pretending to be intelligent by using big words that you would find on the SAT and nowhere else. What I mean is there are many really smart people who just aren’t interested in being seen that way.

I feel that I have a lot of experience in dealing with intelligent people who just don’t try hard enough. I was friends with a handful of “gifted” students in high school. Most of them seemed to think that by being in the gifted program they should be revered for their brilliance, even though most of them hadn’t accomplished anything of much importance.

After living in the honors dorm, or residence hall if you’re all politically correct, for over three years, I’ve noticed the trend in people who are considered intelligent seems to have reversed. A lot of people aren’t interested in touching the Honors Academy with a 10-foot pole. Those who are interested tend to stick around only long enough to live in the honors dorm and have early class registration.

Photo by Brian Hollingsworth.

Let’s face it, the honors dorm is still basically prison-like and early registration is only a benefit once a semester. Being in the honors dorm gets old really fast. On the other hand, the program forces you to work a little closer with your teachers than you might have otherwise. That’s where the appeal is for those who stay. Sadly very few of us stick with the honors track to the end.

Every year since I’ve been at Radford University, I’ve watched my fellow honors students drop like flies. I think that’s what makes it such an accomplishment in the end. Not dropping out because it’s “a waste of time” or “too hard” means you have work ethic.

Being labeled an honors student or “gifted” isn’t what makes people smart; recognizing your strengths and weaknesses and putting them to good use is what makes us smart. There are plenty of “gifted” individuals who recognize their strengths and decide that they are so smart that getting to class every day on time is beneath them.

That’s what I call a waste of an existence. I dislike seeing people get horrible grades because they think the material in class is too easy. If it’s so easy then you should be able to get it done, right?

Another thing I’d like to warn my fellow students about is coming off as superior to others. Brilliance doesn’t make a difference if nobody can stand to be around you for more than a few seconds without considering the feasibility of jumping out of the nearest window.

It’s bad enough when intelligent people are too smug, but it’s 10 times worse when people act like they have multiple degrees in something they’ve never even cracked a book open to learn about. If you’re insecure enough to have to one-up everyone around you who is a little more educated, I think you have bigger problems than just your intelligence.