11 February 2013

Study Music

As I'm writing this, I'm jamming out to the Les Miserables soundtrack on Spotify. I recently rediscovered that Spotify exists, and have been using it way too much. I can only listen to music sometimes when I study, though. It depends what I'm doing- if I'm reading, especially if it's in Spanish, I need it to be completely silent. Otherwise, I don't internalize anything that I read. If I'm writing, quiet music (especially with no words) helps me concentrate. I didn't know this about myself until I got to school, even though I had to think about it before I came.

Roommates are hand matched based on a form you fill out and send in (if I'm remembering correctly, you send it in at the same time as your acceptance forms). The form has a lot of general questions about your habits- when you go to bed and wake up, do you like music when you study, how messy you are, what kind of music do you like, etc.

If you are like me, you're probably pretty concerned about roommates. About six months ago, I was anxiously checking the mail every day, waiting for my roommate letter to come. I want to emphasize that, for the most part, the school is VERY GOOD at making these matches. Almost everyone I know is happy in their situation, and has things in common with their roommate(s). The few people I do know who have had roommate issues have been supported by their RAs and ADs and they've gotten the problems sorted out. There's an entire campus living staff dedicated to make your experience in the dorms a good one.

My advice to applying for the dorms and filling out your roommate sheet: be honest. In part because I didn't know a lot about myself, and in part because I was worried they wouldn't find someone compatible and wanted to be flexible, I was very ambiguous on my form. It worked out fine (my roommate is great), but it could have ended badly because I wasn't very specific. I answered the questions very vaguely (eg "I can study with or without music, I can deal with a really clean room or a kind of messy one, I can go to bed whenever"). Honestly, I didn't know what I liked, but I encourage you all to think about it.

My other advice is to know the residence halls. I know people in almost all of them, and they're all happy. I'm going to put a little summary of what I know about each hall below, because someone did that for me when I was applying and I found it extremely helpful.

SOAA: All the rooms are pretty large and have walk in closets. I live in this complex, so I'm biased, but it's my favorite. It's also (with the exception of the apartments) right next to Templeton and very close to the academic problems.
Stewart: The health themed dorm. It's chemical free, and everyone I know there is really nice. They also have a small gym in their basement.
Odell: Doesn't have a theme. It's pretty small, and is attached to Stewart. They have an awesome library.
Akin: This is where I live! It's multicultural themed- I've met so many people from all over the world. We definitely have a really tightly knit community, especially within the floors. We chill in the hallways a lot. I think it's the smallest dorm. We're involved every year in the multicultural fair in the fall, and the international fair in the spring.
Apartments: You have to be a junior or senior to live in these, unless it's a language community- but I don't know of any freshman that's lived in a language apartment, especially their first semester.
Platt-Howard: These two buildings are connected by a little bridge.
Platt: Platt West is art themed, and East doesn't have a theme. The doors in west (I don't know about east) have chalkboard paint on them. The building also is home to the Platteau, which is an art area- for both performing and visual arts. I've been to a couple poetry slams in the Platteau- it's a really cool place! I believe there's also a dark room and an pottery area.
Howard: Part of Howard is outdoor pursuits themed, and the other part doesn't have a theme. People who live in outdoor pursuits get half off on college outdoor trips, which is an awesome deal.
Copeland: This is the biggest dorm on campus. It has a bunch of wings. Most athletes live here, but so do a ton of non-athletes. The rooms are fairly large, and everyone I know there is happy with it. There are some female-only floors, but I think most are coed. My friends who live there have a really nice view of the woods outside of their window.
Forest: Consists of Alder, Manzanita, Juniper, Spruce, and Ponderosa. Each building is pretty small. My only experience with Forest is showering in one of the buildings during my NST, and ukelele orchestra meets in the basement of Juniper. But from what I've seen, it's nice!
Sophomores and above can also live in two other dorms: Hartzfeld and Holmes. I've never been in Hartzfeld, but I've heard it's cozy. Holmes is really nice, and right now I'm planning on trying to live either there or in Akin again next year.
For more information about the halls, look here.

Continuing on the theme of residence halls, last week my friend Gaby and I led a community builder! Most of the halls have community builders on a regular basis. They're just activities held in your hall that people can come to and hang out at. We made valentines, and decorated cookies.
Flashback to elementary school valentines parties!
The rest of my week was also good. Classes continued as usual, I went and tutored at an elementary school (it went well! I'm excited to go back), we played some sick tunes on our radio show, and belted out some sick tunes on our ukeleles.

Please email me with questions! My address is rekidder@lclark.edu.

Rebecca