One part of college visits that never appealed to me was the dorm room tour. Half of the schools I looked at took us into a dorm and showed us a model room, while the other half took us into a dorm and showed us an actual students room. The model rooms felt staged and fake while the actual students rooms were usually pretty messy and gross. Either way, I didn’t really get a good feel for dorm living. I remember when I went to the admitted students day that Emory hosted, they showed us around Dobbs Hall and I did not like it. It was so dark and gloomy that it felt like a dungeon to me. Later that day, I was touring the campus with a family friend and I asked him what dorm he lived in his freshman year. He told me that he lived in Evans and I asked which ones were considered the best. He said that Few, Evans, and Longstreet-Means were all pretty new but that most of the first-year housing was nice. He also told me that there was no way for incoming freshman to request certain dorms because it was all based on a survey we had to fill out. I immediately took out my phone and wrote down everything he had said in my notes.
I had no idea that this conversation would actually help me figure out where I would live until it was time to fill out the first-year housing survey. By this point, I had already figured out who my roommate was. We had met through a mutual friend and she told me that really wanted to live in Evans Hall because her cousin told her it was the best dorm. However, I had no idea how to get into a specific hall, so I began to research. The first thing I did was Google “first-year housing Emory University”. That lead me to the residence life and housing page on the Emory website and I clicked until I got to a page titled “Housing Options for Incoming First-Year Students”. I looked through all eight options and read about all of the different amenities for each hall. I looked mostly at Evans Hall to make sure that it had everything I wanted. I saw that it had air conditioning, sinks in every room and each floor was grouped co-ed so I knew I would be happy living there. The next thing I did was look at the housing survey that we had to fill out in order to be placed in a dorm. It was a series of two statements and we had to pick which one we valued the most. I noticed that many of them had to do with sustainability, learning about different cultures and creativity. I went back to the housing options for first-year students page and saw that each hall had a theme and that the theme for Evans was “living green: sustainability in the 21st century”.
With all this information that I had gathered, I filled out the survey, making sure to emphasize how important the environment was to me. A few months later, I found out that I would in fact be living in Evans Hall. This news made me very excited to move in and start college. However, I had no idea what an impact the theme housing would have on the way I lived. My high school was very environmentally friendly and we often had lectures on sustainability but it wasn’t until I moved in to Evans Hall that I really found ways to minimize my negative effects on earth. Without all of the research I did on first-year housing, I would have never learned so much about sustainable living.