Seph’s Survival Guide to College Living – A Blueprint or Two

So you’ve decided to apply for a room in the Residence Halls, or maybe it’s your second year, and you’re sticking around for the long haul. Congratulations! But one question that might be on your mind is, Seph, I know what room I have and what building I’m in, but what do these rooms look like? How much space do I have?

Well, anonymous reader, it just so happens that I’ve lived in two different Residence Halls during my time here: Shapiro Hall and Residence Hall B. The way I figure it, I can tell you exactly what to expect if you end up going to either one of these buildings. How many rooms, where are the bathrooms, who to talk to when that guy down the halls gets a bit too loud with his weekend party…

Shapiro Hall

Formerly known as H3 (some of the bus drivers and older staff will refer to it this way, so don’t get confused), the hall is a big, white stone building right next to Mulroy Hall on the outskirts of campus. Well, it’s separated from Mulroy Hall by a small patch of woods, but there’s a path around back that’ll take you right there, no sweat.

The front door is conveniently located right in front of the building, on the driving circle where the Lazer Line shuttle drops off students. Though there are doors on the sides facing the two parking lots, if you open them, the fire alarm goes off, and you’ll end up having a conversation with the RHA. Inside is the security office, where they’ll ask for your OCC ID card, and then let you into the Hall proper.

The first thing you’ll see is a big, metal elevator. Though it creaks and groans like a grouchy old man, it’ll get you to where you’re going, or you can use one of the two stairwells on either side of the building. Shapiro has four floors, though confusingly, the main entrance is located on the second floor. You can thank Onondaga Hill for the headache it causes every time you accidently press 1 in the elevator.

The second, third, and fourth floors all have pretty much the same layout. There’s a common area on all three floors with a water fountain, a soda machine, two big TVs, a sink, and a few comfy couches spread around. You’ll often find at least one student in there, watching TV or taking a nap. There are two big bathrooms on either side of the building, one for guys and one for girls, with two single-occupancy bathrooms in between. There’s also a kitchenette, but it’s really just a sink, an oven, and a microwave.

The second floor is where the RA office is located, in case you get locked out of your room (don’t worry, everyone does it their first semester). There’s also a small gym on the first floor, right next to the laundromat, just in case you don’t feel like making your way to the YMCA.

Residence Hall B

Located right between A and C, Residence Hall B is primarily for returning students. You guys get the cushy treatment, as B is the apartment-style housing. This means that you share what amounts to a decently-sized apartment with a few other people. Nice!

There’s ample parking space for those three Residence Halls, and the Lazer Line shuttle shows up regularly as well. Once you go in the front doors, the security booth will let you into the hall further. To your right is the laundry room, which boasts six washers and dryers each. To your left is the RA counter, where there is usually someone who can help you out.

Across from the RA counter is the elevator and the stairs. They’ll get you where you need to go, and since there are only 3 floors, you never have to walk that far to get where you need to go. On each floor, the hallway is straight, so you can see straight through to each side, where a secondary stairwell is located. Each room has a main door, which leads to the kitchen area. The kitchen has a small den room, and a hallway that leads to the bedrooms and bathrooms.

The kitchen is spacious, with a full-sized fridge, oven, and sink, lots of counter and cabinet space, and even a washing machine, though you’ll need to get your own soap. The den has a couch, two chairs, a coffee table, and a stand that can fit a huge TV for Game Night. There are two bathrooms in the hall, and two closets for storing anything you can’t fit in your room.

Speaking of rooms, there are three singles and one triple-occupancy. I live in a triple, which has three beds, three wardrobes, and three desks. The walls and doors are pretty thick, so the most you’ll get is muffled music from a noisy neighbor, and you can’t even hear the other students, unless they knock on the door. Don’t forget to attend the ceremonial burning of the room, where the college building a fake room in the parking lot and burns it down as a warning of what might happen should you start a fire!

While I can’t say much about A and C, I hope this helps you get an idea of what they layout of your Hall will be like. Life in the Halls can be pretty hectic, but it’s a lot of fun at the same time, and I hope that you’ll have a wonderful time while you study too!

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