To most, Dana Hall is just another mediocre dorm on campus, but to me it has become my second home. I love how close Dana is to Upper Tarble where I like to play piano in the evenings. I love how it overlooks the Faulkner tennis courts where I practiced with the club tennis team throughout the week. Lastly, I loved the beautiful view of the Crum woods that the large windows in the rooms overlooked. I didn’t always love Dana though.
My journey began when I was randomly assigned to Dana Hall through the housing lottery as a freshman. To be completely honest, I didn’t do my research right because I mistakenly thought that I was going to be living in the modern-looking, air conditioned, highly acclaimed Danawell. When I arrived on campus, I walked in through the main doors of the Danawell complex – which includes Danawell, Dana, and Halowell – to feel the cool breeze of the air conditioned entrance. I took the elevator up to the second floor and took a sharp left into the mysterious halls of Dana. Compared to Danawell, Dana seemed humid, dark, and unnecessarily windy. I wished to turn back to the bright and colourful Danawell but my curiosity kept me pushing through the twists and turns of the Dana hallway. I came to find my room – a photo of a blue tang pasted on the door with my name written below. The RA had chosen to make our hall ocean themed. I opened the door and was instantly met with beams of sunlight shining through the 6ft tall windows at the back of the room. They looked out over the Crum Woods, a beautiful 220 acres of forested land right on the edge of Swarthmore’s campus. While the hallway was dark and confined, the room was bright and open. I was shocked by how big the room was and was very excited to start making my half of the room my own.
As the year progressed, I began to really appreciate the privacy that the maze-like hallways brought. Dana is not as well known for its social scene as it is pretty quiet most of the time, so it made for an ideal study environment for me. The big windows brought in so much sunlight that always put a smile on my face. My favourite spot in the room was the windowsill. I turned the windowsill into a cozy nook where I did all of my readings for my classes. I would look out at the changing seasons and appreciate my life in Dana hall. When COVID-19 hit and I went back home to Canada, one of the things that I missed most was my dorm back in Dana.
A year passed and I was ready to go back to living on campus. The housing lottery came out and instead of putting the newest dorms Alice Paul, David Kemp, and Danawell as my top choices, I put Dana Hall right on top of my ranking. I was excited to find out that I was granted my dream of returning to Dana Hall for my sophomore year. I was so lucky to be able to spend the spring semester on campus during my sophomore year in Dana Hall. I loved how close Dana was to the sports facilities where I would go for my morning workouts, Sharples which is our only dining hall on campus, and the Crum woods where I loved to spend my free time.
When it comes time for the housing lottery, I know what I will be placing at the very top of my list. I hope that I will be lucky enough to return to my second home again next year in Dana Hall.