A Short Introduction to Dorm Living
Students have been living in dorms for centuries. Initially, student lodging was constructed near or around libraries for a couple of reasons. First, students were able to access the information necessary for learning more easily when in close proximity to it.
And second, living a sequestered life in a dormitory allowed students to be protected from the distractions of the rest of society, things like frat parties and football games. To enhance the sense of separation, many early dorms were built facing a quad or an area resembling a monastic close rather than having a view of the main thoroughfare.
Another reason for dorm living is the fact that institutions of higher learning tended to be rather uncommon and far apart in previous eras. In other words, there were only a few of them with vast stretches of land in between them. Dormitories provided students with a solution for their housing needs and this encouraged greater attendance.
While the earliest dorms were limited to small, sparse spaces for economic, as well as motivational, reasons, the changing times have brought about a much wider range of possibilities, though a fair number of those earliest examples are still in use today. After all, waste not, want not.
Modern students continue to live in dorms for much the reasons as their predecessors. First, dorms are the simplest and most straightforward solution to their housing needs. Second, dorms facilitate their studies by putting them in proximity to their classes, their classmates, and other relevant resources that can be found on the campus.
And third, dorms are the first chance for most students to live on their own. This experience has the potential to prepare them for their life as an adult and also provide students with opportunities for having some fun and excitement minus the parental supervision. Summed up, it is no coincidence that dorms have been in use over such a long period with no sign of that ending shortly.
All Dorms Are NOT Created Equal
America Unraveled has discovered that not all dorms are created equal, however. Dorm living can be fun almost anywhere, but there is definitely a dorm hierarchy at US Colleges. After visiting campuses, we have come to the conclusion that the following dorms are standouts for the 2016-17 school year.
5. Arcadia, St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York
Arcadia consists of a yurt village, which is to say, it is made up of a collection of small, circular tents situated on the shores of Lake Massawepie, New York. Residents of Arcadia have superb access to the wilderness that surrounds them, though it comes at the cost of cell phones, computers, running water, and other modern amenities. This is perfect because dorm occupants are learning about the relationship between humans and nature as presented in a collection of five courses known as the Adirondack Semester. Course topics range from “Knowing Nature” to “Modern Outdoor Recreational Ethics”. Students are also provided with a chance to experience a simpler and slower-paced way of life.
4. Stuvi2, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
Stuvi2 refers to the Boston University residence hall that can be found at 33 Harry Agganis Way. This dorm bears little resemblance to the original concept of a spartan student room. The building consists of 26 stories of luxurious living. Examples of the amenities that can be found in each one of its units range from private baths, full-length mirrors, and walk-in closets. The communal amenities include, but are not limited to, a media lounge, a reading room, and a soundproof piano room. All of this is rounded out by a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape. Stuvi2 is available to juniors, seniors, and sophomores in all academic areas who are interested in paying a little more for a lot more. If Stuvi2 is the future of dorms in the United States, then being a student promises to be way more fun than it was for previous generations.