4E’s Declassified Freshman Survival Guide: Dorm Perks

Banner - Dorm PerksAt this point in the summer, every freshman’s parents are probably crying every day – partly because they are facing the dreaded empty nest, but mostly because tuition is due. You aren’t crying though, because you’re ready to be a Hoya, and Hoyas aren’t allowed to cry (except for in Red Square, the free speech zone on campus).

mom cries

In any case, you probably have a lot of unanswered questions. 4E has answers, in our latest installment:

***4E’s Declassified Freshman Survival Guide***

cookie lol
So you don’t look like this ^

Today’s topic is Freshman Dorm Room Perks. Every freshman dorm has different perks, and it’s important to know what they are so you can manipulate and take full advantage of your ~friends’~ rooms.

cooper wink


New South: No, your radiator definitely doesn’t heat the room, but did you know it doubles as a table? In most rooms, the front shell of the radiator pops off easily. Lay it across two chairs to make a table sturdier than the ones at our dining hall. Gold medalist water pong players always have humble beginnings.

Bonus: Your room has its own sink! Close the drain and fill the sink up with water. Plop a goldfish in there and voila: you’ve got yourself an aquarium.


VCW: The AC system here is surprisingly functional. Forgo the mini-fridge purchase; you can literally turn your room into a walk-in refrigerator if you set the temperature accordingly. In the rare case that your AC breaks, you can set your shower to extreme temperatures – simply turning it on can change the temperature of your room in just minutes.

freezing

Bonus:  In the case you don’t like the people who live directly below you, just flush the toilet (if you’re lucky, their room will fill with sewage).


Harbin: The notoriously difficult Harbin RAs are out for blood. However, you can use the cluster-style to your advantage! Close off your cluster’s door properly and you can create an impenetrable fortress for fiestas free from RAs.

Bonus: The upper several floors of Harbin have some of the best views among the freshman dorms. Some rooms can see the National Cathedral and the Washington Monument! Others can see the dumpster right behind the building where Bill Clinton’s trash was once thrown out!


Darnall: As you may have heard, Darnall has twin beds, rather than twin XL beds. Depending on what way you look at it, this gives you 5 MORE INCHES for activities.

ferrell drums

Bonus: You live on top of Epi, the 24-hour eatery that is every student’s go-to place at 3 a.m. Getting there and back for a late-night snack couldn’t be easier.


VCE: Call the housing office and request to move. The only positive thing is that the elevator tends to move fastest here out of all the freshman dorms. Possibly because nobody dares enter VCE.

Bonus:                                (this area intentionally left blank)

cocohead

More to come next time on 4E’s Declassified.

Photos/Gifs: giphy.com, georgetownuniversity.com, tumblr.com

Roommate Horror Stories: Freshman Edition

freshman horror stories

As explained by every Blue & Gray Tour Guide, CHARMS is an online matchmaking service to help incoming freshmen find their roommates. And as with any dating app, there are the stories of the students who live together happily ever after for all of their four years and are best friends because they found love in the hopeless place that is CHARMS. Roommates for four years? Why would anyone not use CHARMS? Well, just as there are stories of success with online dating, there are those stories that are horrifying, hilarious and just downright weird.

Note: Stories have been edited for grammar only. Anonymity has been granted to all people involved in the stories in order to preserve hard-earned reputations and dignity upon their return to the Hilltop in the fall.

Sometimes the horror stories are not about the roommate, but about what happens to both you and your roommate. It’s times like these that bring us together: “My freshman year roommate and I made out with the same guy on the same weekend. We found out this sobering fact a few months later and the guy didn’t even go to Georgetown.” While an experience like this is sure to leave one shocked, it might actually enrich the roommate relationship. So not every story has a horrible ending.But don’t be so optimistic. Other times, you think you know your roommate, but then the cops come knocking on your door. Think your roommate was a badass? Think again: “My freshman year roommate was a high-level drug dealer who was involved with the Colombian drug trade and was expelled from Georgetown for unlawful possession of a firearm and a pound of weed.” Looks like someone applied their lessons from International Trade to a real-life situation … just not the right one. 

While it’s rare that someone has a drug dealer for a roommate, it’s a lot more common for someone to just not get along with their roommate due to trouble with finding common ground:

It all started with a small misunderstanding about temperature. We both wanted the room to be cold, but had different definitions of cold: mine simply meant I didn’t want to sweat while sleeping, and his meant he wanted to see just how close one could get to absolute zero. He would wake up and aggressively open up the windows during the unforgettable polar vortex. From there, our relationship devolved into petty passive-aggressive arguments, culminating in him calling me a “wildebeest” (but on Yik-Yak, because he was too scared to say it to my face). “He could be found blasting Britney Spears in the shower during the wee hours of the night, throwing pre-games in the room when I was gone for the weekend, and complaining to his mom about me in a language I never told him I spoke fluently.”

At least the roommates in the story above could converse. Some were unable to speak to each other in their own room, let alone in a public setting.

“We were friendly for the first week, but after a small misunderstanding he spoke to me less and less. It came to the point where he wouldn’t even acknowledge me when I said ‘Hi’ to him in public (and sometimes even our own room). It wasn’t just me; he would also ignore my friends, whom he had met on several occasions. He would repeatedly steal all my food/drinks and refused to stop, even though I asked him to do so on several occasions. When we talked on CHARMS, he claimed to be clean. I, however, learned otherwise when I would come home to find his bodily substances still in our toilet. He would also host pre-games and neither tell nor even invite me (there were literally Facebook events that I found out about from people in my dorm). Later in the year, I found out he was spreading absurd rumors about me. For example, he told people that I would spend free time by pouring vodka down a certain part of my anatomy. As if he knew what I did in my free time. Because I just loved to hang out with my hostile roommate.

To be honest, they were probably meant to be coverups for the ridiculous (but actually true) stories that I had the potential to spread about him (which I did not).”

It seems that freshmen housing involves tough times for some Hoyas. Sometimes roommates are less horrifying and more odd. Such a phenomenon may be illustrated in the decorations that adorn the walls of some freshmen’s rooms: “My freshman roommate had a collage of 40 pictures on her wall. Sixteen of them were just of her. Just solo shots. Some were in cool destinations, but the majority were at her high school or by a random lake.” Well, Georgetown was voted as having one of the most attractive student bodies. Apparently some Hoyas are just very proud of it.

Now comes a new category: drunken urination stories. Everyone knows the saying “You gotta go when you gotta go.” Well, let’s just say that this proverb is especially true after one engages in a certain type of debauchery.

“I was friends with my freshman year roommate, and we have enough stories to write a book. For example, one night he came home severely intoxicated. We both went to sleep and I locked the door. Around 5 a.m., I woke up to him desperately trying to open the door. Unfortunately, he was still too drunk so he did not realize that the door was locked. He soon gave up on trying to exit our room, turned around and peed in our trash can, which was lined with a garbage bag. The next morning, I found a puddle of urine at the bottom of our garbage bag, but my roommate did not remember peeing in it at all. For six days, there it sat, our urine-filled garbage bag. He didn’t take it out, and neither did I. Although I was absolutely disgusted, I found out there were worse things that could happen.”

A urine-filled garbage can. But imagine if that urine belonged to neither you nor your roommate.

“My roommate and I woke up at 3 a.m. to find one of our drunk neighbors peeing in our trash can, which was not made out of plastic. It was one of those chain mesh ones, which resulted in none of his urine actually staying in the trash can. On the verge of wringing his neck, we quickly kicked him out of the room. He had no recollection of the incident the next morning. Nevertheless, I still made him buy me a new, plastic trash can for future incidents.” Asserting dominance in situations like these is definitely a power move, so props to you.As usual, we at 4E save the best for last. One of my favorites, this unnamed hero sticks out from the others. She told me how she herself was a roommate horror story. She not only seemed comfortable with it; she #OwnedIt.

“I don’t have a roommate horror story. I am a roommate (and floormate) horror story. After a night out in early September, I came back to my room and thought it would be hilarious to take a Snapchat with my sleeping roommate, whom I had met just days prior to this occurrence. I posed next to the sleeping body and took a flash selfie, only to find out that my roommate had a friend sleeping over. So I took a selfie with a stranger and had to explain myself when this person woke up. My roommate, on the other hand, slept through the whole thing.Fast forward a few weeks and she actually ended up moving out, so I thought I had the room to myself. It turns out I was wrong, because my one human roommate was replaced by three happy mice who lived in the nooks and crannies of my room. One time I was eating leftover Mai Thai when two mice darted out from under my vents, squeaked to each other and then ran back under the vents. I, of course, continued eating.The third mouse made an appearance when I reached into a desk drawer to investigate a torn bag of chips. It darted out across my hand, and then ran under my bed. My scream for help was so loud, violent and bloodcurdling that it sounded like someone was stabbing me repeatedly. A few floor-mates rushed to my rescue as I continued to howl.And what had I done to them in return for my rescue?! I refused to take the blame for the vomit that sat in our bathroom for five days straight. It got to the point where girls were walking down to bathrooms on the lower floors to brush their teeth. Is it too late now to say sorry?”

Some Hoyas have housing horror stories to tell, while others have nothing but bliss. Freshman year is a time to grow, and that includes living with people you may not immediately click with. Even if you have a bad roommate, look at it this way: You’ll have the stories to tell for the rest of your life. Not everyone can claim the same. So when times are getting tough with your roommate and you’re beyond the point of working things out, just remember: You only have to live with him or her for one year. After that, you’re free, and you can say goodbye and put your roommate behind you.

Photos/Gifs: giphy.com, https://bit.ly/2ayFjHp

A Freshman’s Guide to Manipulating Residential Living

Banner - Housing TipsIt’s that time of year for high school seniors. The time when they (those incoming freshman) fill out the famed Living Preference Questionnaire and begin the housing process. To all of you younglings, congratulations on your commitment to Georgetown. Now you finally can start making decisions about your freshmen year. What a time to be alive!

To all the current students, I’m sure you remember what it was like getting the first emails from housing. The excitement of ending high school and beginning college is something that almost everyone experiences. Housing was one of the first symbols of this change. No, we didn’t really care about the living survey. There were only two things that really mattered: our roommates and our housing assignments. We at least had some control over our roommate if we used the infamous CHARMS system. Let’s just say this works out better for some than it does for others.On the other hand, most of us had no control over our housing assignment.  There were maybe one or two little-known ways to work the system. Other than that, we were on our own. We all prayed for New South and scoffed at Darnall. When assignments were released in August, reactions included joy, disappointment, indifference, and just downright shock. Residents of New South were ecstatic, residents of Darnall felt cheated, and the residents of Harbin and VCW figured they would be okay. Oh, and then there were those of us in VCE. Note to incoming students: Darnall is NOT THE WORST. I repeat, if you get Darnall, it is NOT the end of the world. You are at least with other freshmen (and mice/rats) who keep you company in your isolation. We VCEers are alone; we have barely any freshmen to whom we can turn. 

We all thought we just had bad luck. Unfortunately for us, we were wrong; we just didn’t know the tricks of the system! Fortunately for all new students, 4E is going to share some tips on how to cheat the housing system. While some might say that these tricks will not work, please just look at what happened with housing this year. Do you really think that outsmarting the housing system is hard? 

In order to make sure that you’re satisfied with your housing assignment, here are some neat ways you can manipulate the system and/or the Residential Living Staff.

  1. Request medical housing– This could be a power move for some people. Some current students were granted medical housing due to gluten allergies. While this may seem like a scam (which it is), it may get you into either VCW or even New South. Discover your hidden ailment, fall down a flight of stairs, make up a disease: do whatever you gotta do to get medical housing.
  2. Post your most embarrassing story in the GAAP Facebook Group– Posting in the GAAP group may indeed make you famous (just ask Alessandra Puccio). If you post a really embarrassing story about yourself, your name might just reach the ears of the Residential Living Staff. What better way to both get good housing and put yourself out there to your new classmates? Disclaimer: If you actually do this, people will know you when you arrive. Will people envy you? That depends on how great the story is. 
  3. Request a single sex floor– Usually, if you request a single sex floor, you’ll probably end up in VCW or Harbin. While neither of these options are the same as the coveted New South, they are not the worst housing options on campus. You also will definitely not get Darnall. Both offer central locations, and each have unique features. Harbin has the cluster formation, while VCW offers the two-winged design, straight hallways and private bathrooms. If I were you, I would hope for Harbin, since private bathrooms don’t thrill me that much.
  4. Go on Tinder and swipe right for an administrator– Todd Olsen, the Vice President for Student Affairs, is a man of mystery. Does he actually have a Tinder profile? Who knows. But if he does, take advantage of the situation. If he also swipes right on you, you’ll have an excellent bargaining chip in your possession. It may not even our dear friend Todd; it could be anyone high up in the administration. New South, here you come! (We are clearly joking…)
  5. Write a very large check– This almost maybe definitely work, but please don’t be that guy.

In the end, you should not stress too much about housing. No matter where you live as a freshman, you’ll end up making friends in your dorm. Even if you don’t, your friends are a stone’s throw away (except if they’re in Darnall). Just fill out the living survey and wait. Finally, for your housing assignment and more importantly, your roommate search…may the odds be ever in your favor.

Photos/Gifs: giphy.com, studentliving,georgetown.edu