The Good, The Bad, and...The Ugly | Room Assignment for Fall 2009

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It's June! ...Which means that the Iowa State University room assignments were available for viewing at midnight. And, well, you know me... I waited up 'til midnight just so I could see where I would be spending next fall. My first choice was a single in Buchanan... with my own bedroom and sharing a bathroom with the dorm next door. (I know, I know... singles are limited, but I thought it was worth a shot to put it as my first choice.) My second choice was my own bedroom in an on-campus apartment suite.

Well... I ended up with my third choice and I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. So at 12:40 in the morning, I'm going to attempt to sort out the good points and bad points about this room assignment.

The Good:
  • My room is a "super single". This means I get it all to myself. This is important to me because I savor privacy. I enjoy being social, but only when I want to. Since I do a lot of reading and writing, alone time is a top priority. Plus... I don't concentrate on homework very well unless I'm completely alone.
  • My room is at the end of the hallway. (Read below to find out why this is a good thing.)
  • I get an actual closet instead of one of those stand-alone wardrobe/armoire things that colleges pass off as closets. (Due to the layout of the dorm building, only the two end rooms on each floor get an actual closet.)
  • A little ways off from the main campus. Instead of being surrounded by buildings, this dorm actually offers prettier views.
  • Fitness center in the building. Maybe I could get the motivation to work out?
  • Dining hall in the building. I will be getting a meal plan... so it'd be nice to be able to eat meals in the same building I live in rather than trek across campus.
  • Laundry facility in the building. Always a plus.
  • Like most dorms I know of... it comes furnished with a bed, desk, desk chair, dresser, and wardrobe (or, in my case, closet). But the added bonus is that these rooms also come with a mini-fridge and futon. Hopefully I could get rid of the futon, since I have my own fabulous orange convertible sofa to bring. Having a mini fridge provided would be great... one less thing for me to buy this summer.
  • The bed is not lofted. Hooray! This is good because I'm a frequent sleep-walker and my mom worries about me trying to climb out of a loft in my sleep. Haha.
  • From the photos I've seen, the rooms look pretty decent. I don't think I'd have a hard time decorating. And they're a good size, which means I can fit more stuff from home. ;)
The Bad:
  • No air conditioning. Ugh. Central Iowa can get quite hot and humid in the late summer and stay that way into the autumn. I think I could get by as long as they allow me to open the windows for fresh air. And maybe it'll be an excuse to purchase a fabulous bright-colored fan like this one since I won't need to buy a mini-fridge.
  • A little ways from the main campus. While I wouldn't be surrounded by buildings, I wouldn't be as close to my classes. I think it's still within walking distance, but I might miss being in the center of it all.
The Ugly:
  • Communal bathrooms. Oh dear. :S In my last dorm I was lucky enough to live in suite-style units where my roomie and I shared the bathroom with our two suite-mates. I've never actually seen or used a communal bathroom, but my imagination is running wild with the horrors of it. I'm not so much concerned with the cleanliness. The bathrooms are cleaned daily by janitorial staff. And I can handle showering with flip-flops on. But I'm not too sure about the whole showering and going to the bathroom in one big room with tons of others thing. I dislike public bathrooms enough. Now I'll have to walk all the way down the hallway if I have to the bathroom in the middle of the night. And what if someone opens the curtain while I'm showering?! Eeek!
Well, my good list definitely outweighs the bad and the ugly. So it seems like no contest, right? Wrong. I'm hung up on my bad list because the communal bathrooms and lack of a/c has me a little worried. Those are major issues for me... second and third to the most important thing: I want my own room. So if I have to put up with sharing a bathroom with the whole floor and sweating it out a few sultry evenings in order to have the privacy and luxury of a single... I may just have to settle. We'll see.

While I'm liking the idea of not having a bathroom to clean...
I'm apprehensive about sharing the space. Will someone open
the curtain while I'm showering? Is that sink area large enough
for girls bustling around doing their hair, putting on make-up,
and brushing their teeth in the morning? (images from rabbit_teeth)

Since I wouldn't be needing to spend money
on a mini-fridge, I could put the cash toward a
pretty fan to keep cool without an a/c. The
ones above are from The Company Store.

This is the orange sofa bed that I've already purchased for my
dorm room. I love the vibrant color and how it has three positions.
I'm crossing my fingers that the dorm will let me switch out the
provided futon for my own. (Mine came from Target, btw.)

If I wish to switch to another residence assignment, I can opt to do so in a few days. I'm betting, however, that my first two choices filled up fast with students continuing from last year. (Continuing students got first dibs.) It comes down to me deciding whether I want my own room and putting up with communal showers and no a/c... or sharing a dorm with a roommate and getting a semi-private bathroom and cooler quarters.



Natalie said...

I had a communal bathroom this past year and it wasn't that bad! I had the same fears you did, but things worked out relatively well. Most of us did our hair/makeup in our rooms since we had mirrors attached to the wall so there was never really a traffic jam in the mornings or anything. A lot of times we'd hook up an iHome and play music while we showered and stuff, especially on Friday/Saturday nights.
I say stick with what you've got, it sounds stick with a really good set up! Those are super cute fans, btw.

Anonymous said...

My first year at college I stayed in a shared room with a communal bathroom - it wasn't bad at all, actually. People didn't walk in on others during showers - mind you, ours were like toilet stalls - with a section for changing in, and a section for the shower itself, and an actual door.

I'd much rather share the bathroom than share the dorm room - and your room sounds pretty cool. Fans do a lot!

Anonymous said...

I'm out of college at this point, but one thing I can say about communal bathrooms is it really creates a sense of community with your neighbors. It's a minor annoyance that can really bond everyone who has to put up with it.

steph said...

Don't worry about the communal bathrooms! The only thing I didn't like about them was it can get a little creepy if you shower at nighttime like I do. Other than that, no one is going to walk in on you and everyone is really respectful of everyone's space. The communal bathroom I used was in a co-ed dorm so we also had the prospect of boys walking in trying to take a peek and goofing around but even that never happened.

The only thing that does stink about it is if you get the stomach flu, which has happened to a few friends of mine. Clutching a public toilet is not my idea of fun.

alex said...

I had a single when I was a freshman and I would have never, ever, ever -- in a million years -- traded a single room for air conditioning or a private bathroom. I can't get this point across enough! Stay in your single!

Communal bathrooms suck, this is true, but you learn to deal with it. No one else likes them, either, so people are generally respectful. As for no air conditioning, keeping your room bearable is easy. Keep your blinds drawn and shuttered during the day and there will be a HUGE difference in temperature. I spent my freshman year in Colorado -- humidity isn't a problem there, so only the awful, way-off-campus dorms had air conditioning. That said, I'm from Maryland, so I know how to deal with heat and brutal humidity: the house I'm moving into (and this is a legitimate home) next semester doesn't have air conditioning.

Anyway, keep your single, seriously. Good luck!