First-Year Housing: A Week Too Long


Ten seconds until midnight. Ten … nine … eight …. Pretty much all hope has been lost by now. Five … four … three … two … one. “Happy Independence Day, America!” That’s what most Americans would say on July 4, but for us 778 first-years, all we could exclaim was, “Who the hell is my roommate?”

It was  fine when Colgate changed the original housing assignment email date from June 13 to July 3, but the class of 2018 quickly became frantic, and then discouraged, as the hours ticked by on the new date. I’m sure many students checked their emails immediately when they woke up; I admittedly forgot that housing assignments came out that day, but it wasn’t long before I jumped on the band wagon and started checking my email every

five minutes.

Desperation set in around 4 p.m. I got excited every time my phone lit up only to be sorely disappointed when the Facebook notification sound went off instead of the email one. As the evening went on, Facebook dinged more and more: “Person X posted in Colgate University Class of 2018,” “Person Y commented on Person X’s post in Colgate University Class of 2018,”

“Person A, B, C, D commented…”

There were 28 individual posts all relating to the lack of housing assignment emails. Desperation slowly turned into insanity; comments were no longer actual words. Instead, it seemed every meme under the sun appeared on the class of 2018 group’s Facebook wall. Some posts digressed to meme wars. One post transformed into people commenting with pictures of Thor and Pikachu (I’m proud to say I

contributed to that one).

July 4 was just as booming with notifications as the previous day, but this time it was people searching for their roommates. Someone had figured out that our “Campus Address” on the Portal had been miraculously filled out overnight, and people started frantically trying to figure out who they were living with. On day one of no email, there were 40+ individual posts of people asking variations of “X Hall Room 123?” After a bombardment of notifications, some people came up with the idea to create a post for each Hall rather than all of these individual ads.

I found my roommate through the East Hall post (whoop!) the first day. We chatted through Facebook and were incredibly glad to finally know each other. What we didn’t know was that our rooming situation held a surprise. My roommate and I had been talking for two days, slowly getting to know each other, and although she seemed really amiable online, I still worried that I would find out some deal breaker once I met her in person. Those worries were put on hold when all of a sudden Facebook dinged and informed me a girl commented “404” on the East Hall post. I immediately messaged my roommate asking her if it was some mistake. Perhaps the girl actually meant East Stillman Hall 404? We both had asked for doubles so we had assumed when we found each other that was it for our rooming stress. We were wrong.

Unspecified by the Colgate University First-Year Housing website, East Hall does not just have doubles and singles. An upperclassman friend informed me that East Hall has a couple triples per floor, and four days later, our housing emails confirmed the girl was not mistaken. After relaying that information to my first roommate, we created a group message to include the third girl, and started acquainting ourselves with each other and talking logistics of triple room sharing.

 Now that I am at Colgate, I am incredibly happy with my triple. Whenever I’m in my room, I can’t help but think of that chaotic week without our housing email. The surprising overwhelming despair followed by an abundance of hopeful searching made that week the most memorable and entertaining on our Facebook group. Sure a triple can make splitting up the room a little more challenging, but the room is a comfortable size and by customizing my furniture (tastefully, of course), it actually is starting to feel like home.