With your acceptance into Binghamton University came enrollment deposits and yet another decision: choosing your living quarters for your first year in college. Perhaps you were the detail-oriented type and made a list of pros and cons for each community. Or maybe you were the average being and simply read a quick description for each. You possibly even let fate decide and picked your place out of a hat. Whatever the hat chose for you in August, you will be content because you will soon realize the first community you live in will always hold a special place in your heart.
As a former O’Connor resident, I became accustomed to Dickinson around my second semester of freshman year. Things I saw and experienced soon became the norm, no matter how baffled it left other community members. So here are the 13 things that you only understand if you lived in Dickinson at Binghamton.
1. You will have to wake up about 10 minutes earlier than the average student to make your way to your 8:30 class.
Dickinson is the second farthest community from academic buildings. While other residents can simply roll out of bed 5 minutes before class begins, you won’t have that luxury. Prepare for a 10-20 minute walk, even with the shortcuts.
2. You share your dining hall with another community.
Dickinson shares the dining hall, Chenango Champlain Collegiate Center (better known as C4), with Newing residents. The red chairs indicate that you are on the Newing side, and the blue as the Dickinson side. While there is plenty of room, and food, prepare yourself mentally to deal with the crowd and long lines during rush hours.
3. You enjoy the variety that the Grill at C4 offers.
One of the best part of C4 is the grill, where you can order pretty much anything from a bacon, egg and cheese, to Ben and Jerry’s. The food is freshly prepared in front of you once you order. C4 also offers a more range of kosher food than other dining halls on campus.
4. You attempt to take a shortcut through Digman on your way to class.
Once the cold starts, you’ll get creative with your shortcuts. Out of the four buildings at Dickinson, Digman is the closest to the academic buildings. To avoid the cold for a mere two minutes, you may go through Digman. If you’re really desperate (as are most O’Connor residents), you’ll go through Digman AND Rafuse on your way back from class.
5. You live close to the gym.
If you live in Dickinson, you may have an excuse for yourself to miss a not-so-important day in lecture. But you won’t have a similar excuse to miss the gym because it is less than a five-minute walk.
6. You’ll correct non-residents that you live in a “flat”, not a suite.
Most of the housing options at Binghamton are suites. In Dickinson, we use the fancier and more foreign term, “flat”, to describe the 4 singles and 2 bathrooms or 2 doubles, 1 single and 2 bathroom living area, each with a vestibule. There is little difference between the two terminologies.
7. You probably won’t know your neighbors from your floor.
If you’re an introvert, you may not know your neighbors. Besides the occasional bump in the hallway or floor meetings, you’ll rarely converse with people besides your flat mates. We can be quite social, but more often than not, you’ll find us either on our way out or behind our closed doors. While everyone is friendly and considerate, most Dickinson residents prefer to keep to themselves. We enjoy our alone time after a rough day of classes.
8. You may be the lucky (or unlucky) person to get the single in a suite.
You won’t get a say as a freshman if you prefer a single, double, or triple. But if you want that special college experience of dealing with a roommate, you can always change with another resident who is looking for a single during the room change process starting the first week of classes.
9. Not having to go to the library to study or do homework.
There are three lounges in each floor furnished with comfy chairs and tables. Most of the time, the area will be empty. Even during finals week when the library becomes congested, there are only a few people in the lounges. It is quiet, clean, and very spacious.
10. Waking up to the sound of construction.
The beginning of my freshman year, I was fortunate enough to enjoy the co-rec field. With many events to get all the residents together, the field served as everyone’s rendezvous point. However, once construction started, people woke up every morning to the sound of bulldozers. We no longer had a field of our own like all the other communities, so we had to make our way across the street to Old Dickinson to hang out with friends once the warmer days approached. (It will soon be opened back up though!)
11. How annoying the motion activated lights are.
This is great for the environment and suitable for places like the lounges and vestibules. It’s great for the folks who fall asleep in bed and are too lazy to get up to turn off the lights. But when it is 2 am and you prefer to study in your room, these lights are more of a nuisance. My bed was not under the sensor, so I had a tougher time trying to turn it back on by vigorously waving my hands in the air like I just didn’t care. Except I did care. About my GPA. So for those who prefer to study in their rooms during the ungodly hours, invest in your own lamp.
12. Whatever you don’t take home for the summer, you can store.
If you decide to stay at Dickinson for your sophomore year, you can rent a summer storage locker and leave anything you don’t need for the summer at Binghamton. It’s very convenient when moving in and out of your dorm. Make sure to get one before they are all sold out!
13. You’ll meet some of the most wonderful people at Binghamton University.
Dickinson is known be a community full of friendly and diverse people. They are also some of the most active members in campus organizations and very serious about academics. With over 1,400 residents, you’re bound to find at least one friend that shares your interest.
Whatever your experience with Dickinson, you will know that our community exceeds its standards of safety, functionality, and comfort. Here’s to a new beginning full of strange yet extraordinary experiences!