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Why the Dorms Kick Butt!

Stacy Kowsz on Saturday, 08 March 2008. Posted in Residence Life

All first-years who live on campus live in the dorms.  I think that this is a great plan on RIT’s part.  Because of this, our dorms are primarily first-years.  This means that when you first come to school, you are living where you are surrounded by all the other kids who just came to school.  Dorm life is where you meet people.  You are sort of forced to meet them because they are around you a lot of the time.  Most of the people whom I am friends with now are the people that I met freshman year in the dorms.  I feel like most the people I know are people that I met while living in the dorms.
Your first year is hugely important; college is a big change, and you’re now somewhere where you don’t know people and people don’t know you.  RIT makes the getting to know new people part of college a lot easier by putting all the first-years together in the dorms.  It’s the easiest environment to meet people.  Since I left the dorms, I feel like I have met significantly fewer new people.
Another good thing about the dorms is that they are located together, and all the dorm buildings are connected by tunnels underground.  This help to make it feel more like one big huge building because you don’t have to go outside to visit someone in a different dorm.  You can wear your pajamas and slippers and visit someone in a different building as easily as you can take the elevator down a few floors.
Some of my best memories of college so far have been of living in the dorms.  It’s a weird and wacky but wonderful experience (at least for a few years) to live in an environment where your away-from-home-family are the 50 people living on your floor.  You have a lot of brothers and sisters, and things are rarely ever boring.  There’s always more than one someone around to visit, help, or entertain you.  And when you get tired or annoyed with one person, you still have plenty of other people around, and this helps makes things run pretty smoothly overall.  I think that living in the dorms was the least dramatic time for my group of friends; there were never really any fights or arguments. 
When living in the dorms, there are the Resident Advisors (RA’s) who are there to help keep the peace, answer questions, and provide fun.  The RA’s are required to run activities for the floor, as well as events that are open for other students.  Some of my favorite things that I attended while living in the dorms:
•    Tie-Dye Party: During my first-year, the floor ordered tee-shirts, and we got to tie-dye them or anything else we had and wanted to tie-dye.  It was fun.  I still wear the shirt I made all the time.  I feel that it came out really well and may be one of the highlights of my lifetime’s artistic attempts.
•    Chinese New Year: There was a little workshop that I attended where we learned about the Chinese New Year and Chinese culture.  They asked us some questions where we could win some prizes; I didn’t win anything.  But I did really enjoy the free Chinese food.
•    Holiday Gift Exchange: This would be the politically correct term for the Secret Santa gift exchange that we had as a floor during my first-year.  You get to know the people on your floor pretty well, so there were some pretty good or funny gifts. 
•    Laser Tag: Our first year RA’s organized a big group field trip to laser tag. Check out this intense laser-tag outfit:
•    Pumpkin Carving/Painting BBQ: This is an event that Res-Life hosts annually for kids living in the dorms.  There are free hot dogs and burgers and s’mores, plus pumpkin carving or painting.  Check out these creations from my first-year: