All the students at DePauw are required to live in a dorm during their first year. There are different kinds of dorms depending on your year level and preference, and students can live together in any form.
DePauw housing can be categorized into three different types: (1) Greek houses (sororities and fraternities), where members are bounded by sisterhood and brotherhood; (2) first-year and second-year residence halls, dorms where more than 50 people live together in single, double, or triple rooms; (3) and upper-class housing, where comparatively fewer people reside in several single rooms with common kitchens and bathrooms.
There are both advantages and disadvantages when living in a dorm. Students need to share spaces together, which helps them create a community. But at the same time, they could face disagreement.
One advantage is that the dorm can be a place for socialization. As I experienced dorm life last year, I realized that I encountered someone every time I went to the restroom, studied in a common room, or cooked in the kitchen. Sometimes you could have small talk with your floormates to get to know new people. At DePauw, each dorm also often has floor or building events such as karaoke night or fun activities with free food. Those events provide you with opportunities to get to know each other and make new friends. Another advantage is that if you have a roommate, you are less likely to feel alone. There is always someone you can talk to when you are going through a hard time.
However, there are also disadvantages when you live with numerous different people in the same building. One major issue you can encounter is the use of common spaces like the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room. I heard some complaints from students about how unclean they are and how most laundry machines are often being used. Another primary problem is having conflicts with your roommate. Although students are required to construct a “roommate agreement” at the beginning of the semester with your Residential Assistant (RA), it’s not always easy to live with a person who is from a different environment or who has a different daily routine. In addition, since it is a place where various people are living together, the hall might be loud sometimes, and it could be distracting to your studies or sleep.
One solution to these problems is getting a single room. If you get a single room, you can have your own time while interacting with your floormates in a common room. After your first year is done, you have a choice to request a single, double, or triple room. Although it is not guaranteed, there is a big chance that you can get your preferred room type. Another possible solution for common space issues would be bringing your own home appliances such as a microwave or refrigerator. This makes it easier to access these materials, and you are responsible for keeping it clean. These are some of the ways to experience a comfortable and enjoyable dormitory life within DePauw’s campus.
When living in one place together with someone, it is really important to respect each other and be mindful of keeping the common space clean. You should think about what you expect from others and act accordingly. As DePauw encourages you to create a community and diversity within each type of housing, dormitory life will be helpful and memorable if everyone becomes considerate of their surroundings.