One of the biggest adjustments to college life is moving into the dorm environment. Especially as an only child, I was unsure about sharing a space with new people. I was also expecting the worst kind of living situation – cramped, dingy, and dirty. Fast forward five months and my dorm is one of my favorite places on campus. All freshmen live on campus in a double, a triple, or a quad (comprised of two singles and one double). Currently, I live in a quad with three other roommates in Wharton; I have one of the singles right now but most roommates in quads swap rooms at the start of the spring semester. When I arrived on move-in day in August, my dorm room was bare and impersonal; throughout the year though, I’ve gradually added items from home that make it feel more and more like my own space on campus.
One of the best parts about living on Swarthmore’s campus is the amazing views. I’m used to living in San Francisco and having gorgeous views of skyscrapers and bridges, but the views at Swat are a bit different. No matter what dorm you’re living in, there are amazing snapshots of nature from every window. Most dorms have around two large windows – I’m lucky to have three!
Wharton is one of the most centrally-located dorms on campus. Because of the small size of Swat’s campus, it only takes me two minutes to walk to Sharples Dining Hall and four minutes to walk to class – which is especially ideal on freezing cold, snowy days. Including Wharton, there are nine other dorms that freshmen reside in.
Another great thing about living in a dorm is being able to personalize your room with whatever photos, postcards, or posters you want. I actually bought a postcard clip string from Urban Outfitters that holds a bunch of postcards featuring my favorite artists’ (mostly Matisse and Picasso) work. I also have black and white photos of my friends and I at home (SF, for me) as well as an illustration of the San Francisco skyline. Above my bed, I have a large poster with bird’s feathers as well. Lots of people bring mementos from their hometowns like banners of their favorite sports teams or postcards from their city.
Each dorm on campus comes ready to live in with a bed, desk, chair, dresser, closet, and bookshelf. Everything else you need is pretty straightforward! Another benefit of living in Wharton are the easily accessible laundry rooms, kitchen, microwave, and refrigerator.
Overall, I absolutely love Swarthmore’s dorm life. I know everybody’s name in my hall and since I live in a mixed-grade hall, talking to other residents is a great way to expand my circle of friends on campus. My hall also does lots of bonding activities together like our weekly hall meetings with snacks, face mask nights, and dinner trips to Philadelphia. At college, the people on your hall become almost like an extended family – they’re the first people you see every morning and the last people you see at night. My roommates are my closest friends on campus and I feel so lucky to go to a school that fosters amazing dorm environments like this.