Evaluating 3 Dorms I Have Lived In

Dorm life is a huge part of life at Swarthmore since most students live on campus all 4 years. Each dorm (we have 17 of them!) is unique, and each one I have lived in has contributed to my Swarthmore experience. There is a lot more that could be said about each one, but these are my pros and cons of living in Wharton, Danawell, and Worth dorms.

Wharton (“AB”)

I lived in Wharton quad my freshman year. Our quad was comprised of two singles and a double. Wharton is divided up into three sections, “AB”, “CD” and “EF” which are mostly arbitrary except for the fact that “CD” only houses upperclassmen and has a different style of stairs and wider hallways.

MY PROS

  • Mostly Upperclassmen. On my incoming first year survey, I said that I wanted to be in a dorm with a very even distribution or even a dorm with more upperclassmen than first and second years because I knew I wanted a mixed housing environment and to get to know upperclassmen from the beginning. 
  • Beautiful stone building and courtyard complete with benches, a good view and tennis courts. There is nothing like experiencing the seasons while living in Wharton and seeing the leaves change to buds to pink flowers that coat the ground. Events take place year round, and it’s a nice place to hang out with friends. Plus, if you have a friend on the tennis team you can watch them play!
  • Quiet, chill vibes. Wharton is not a party dorm, but in my experience the dorm is still social. Potentially a good place for outgoing introverts.
  • Good location on campus. Right next to the amphitheater, close to the Matchbox and athletic center, not far from Sharples and Essies, the Intercultural Center, Women’s Resource Center, and Olde Club (Swarthmore’s student-run performance space). Close to Parrish (the center of campus) and academic buildings as well.

MY CONS

  • No elevator. So maybe this is not the biggest con depending on what you need from a dorm. I try to take the stairs whenever I can, but laundry is in the basement so when I lived on the 3rd floor my freshman year, I had to walk down and then up the stairs with piping hot laundry. This was worsened by the heat of the Summer and the lack of air conditioning which brings me to my next point.
  • No air conditioning. So, Wharton is one of the most popular dorms and does not have AC. It is not the end of the world, many dorms do not have it. If you are a person who needs an elevator, or is sensitive to heat, has asthma or allergies you probably should consider this and ask for Housing Accommodations. Honestly AC isn’t a big determinant for me, but I feel it’s worth mentioning.
  • The sections (AB, CD, EF) are not connected to each other. Not that big of deal, it just requires you to go outside to visit someone in another section.

Danawell (Connector)

I lived in Danawell my sophomore year with my roommate and best friend, Francesca. Danawell is nestled between Hallowell and Dana connecting them—hence the name Danawell Connector. Danawell is characterized by its contemporary style with large windows and small community which contrasts with the older Hallowell and Dana, characterized by their fun, maze-like hallways.

MY PROS

  • Lounges. Every floor of Danawell has a lounge, not including the lounges in Hallowell and Dana you have access to as well. The lounges have televisions and printers and have cool, colorful and comfy chairs and couches which can be rearranged easily. They make optimal spaces for casual study, conversation, meetings and movies.  
  • The Kitchen. Danawell is known for its kitchen. A communal stainless steel fridge, a microwave, stove and oven. There is nice counter space and a dining table. Dana and Hallowell also have kitchens, but they are not as updated. 
  • Laundry x3. Since Danawell is connected to Dana and Hallowell and each one has a laundry room, there are three. This may not be that nice since you still have to share with all those people, but for some reason it is comforting to know you can travel for laundry within the same 3 connected buildings
  • Elevator! And AC!
  • No Carpet! Easy clean up!
  • Location. Same as Wharton for the most part. 
One of Danawell’s Lounges

MY CONS

  • I am stumped at the moment!
  • Just kidding, the contemporary style is nice, but I really like the character that comes with the old stone dorms!

Worth (“N” Tower)

I lived in Worth the first half of my junior year in a connected single (single connected by a door to another single) with my friend Francesca again. Worth is made up of towers: I,J,K,L,M,N. Worth houses sophomores to seniors. It is another dorm characterized by its grassy courtyard that hosts Worthstock (our Swat music festival), as well as its social life. 

MY PROS

  • I shared a bathroom with only 3 other women! 
  • 12 people in total lived in my tower (4 people on each floor), so it has a small, community feel
  • We had a kitchenette complete with a deep sink, microwave, kettle, shelves and a rack to dry dishes 
  • The view was beautiful!
  • The building is stone and has character!
  • Close to the Black Cultural Center, and weekend Trico shuttle (to Bryn Mawr and Haverford) pickup/drop-off
  • Not that far of a walk from the train station, the Ville, and close to Willets, Mertz, David Kemp and Alice Paul dorms (yay for friends); not as close as Wharton or Danawell, but still a brief walk from academic buildings

MY CONS

  • One laundry room located in J tower for the entire dorm (all towers). The towers are connected by tiny doors and hallways, but for the most part you have to go outside and walk across the courtyard to do laundry. It’s not that bad, but still. 
  • Further (in comparison to Wharton and Danawell) to Sharples (the dining hall)
  • You have to walk up a steep hill to get to class (not thaaat bad, but still)

Overall, I’ve enjoyed all of these dorms and my time in them! They have really been big parts of my experiences at Swarthmore and have helped shaped my appreciation of each of my years here. If you’re curious about what other dorms you may get to live in, you check out more of our residential communities or ask other Swatties what their favorites are!

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