Now Reading
How Much Should I Care About What Dorm I’m In?

How Much Should I Care About What Dorm I’m In?

It doesn’t matter how much you care, it matters what factors you care about.

Oh, the crisis of getting the right dorms as a freshman. Good lord. I’m old, so this happened to me a long time ago, but it remains fresh in my mind. Shortly after choosing FSU, I joined Facebook groups and GroupMe chats to start meeting other students. People were concerned about two things: looking smart and cool, and getting into a nice dorm. Closely followed by these worries were concerns of not getting along with your roommate or dormmates. If the assignment system is still correct, your luck of the draw is based on WiFi speed. On my sign-up day, I knew I had to leave my house early to drive halfway to school and stop at Starbucks to sign up on the exact minute it opened. I got excited and hit the button one minute early. I was assigned number 164. At under 300, you stand a good spot of getting into your choice dorm. I knew a girl who was assigned number 4. She was a legend. If you had a number that was above 1000, oof. So, how much does it matter again? Here’s what you should consider when choosing an FSU Dorm.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with living in Salley Hall, you may be bombarded with apologies.

I remember the day FSU dorm sign-ups began for me. It was crucial. It was go-time. The goal: not live in Salley Hall. Salley Hall comes with a few dreadful warnings that imply the building leaves to be desired. Some residents will tell you it’s not that bad, but others will break down and tell you the truth.

Salley Hall, built in 1962, was the first dorm to allow co-ed residents. It’s possible you know someone whose parents have lived in that dorm. It was last renovated in 2000 and is currently (and will probably always be) home to many claims of broken furniture, insects, and mold.

Advertisement

While I haven’t found any official sources on this next tidbit, just about everyone thinks/knows that having a penicillin allergy can get you reassigned since you’d be allergic to the whole building. If you don’t have a penicillin allergy, you go out and get one!

You share your bedroom with 3 other people and share the common space with them as well. Do you know how hard it is to get 4 people to agree with each other? To sleep at the same time? You have a greater chance of not getting into Salley in the first place. At the end of the day, being assigned to this dorm isn’t the end of the world. You will, however, receive the pity of all who know your living situation. Take advantage of it and sleep in their dorms on occasion, they will understand.

An exterior view of Salley Hall dormitory
An outdoor view of Salley Hall conveniently hiding behind a sign. Coincidence? I think not!

Do you like walking? Do you like walking up hills?

Regardless of which dorm you’re in, you’re going to walk a LOT! FSU campus is known as being the most walkable campus in Florida for a reason. If you’re not walking across campus to get to class, you’re walking halfway off campus to get on the bus to take you up the hill. That will with be Mount. Diffenbaugh, and when the sun beams in your face, laughing as you sweat, you will feel regret and dread. I soon grew envious of my friends in Gilchrist for their twenty-foot walk to Suwanee. I had to trek upstairs, across Landis green, go up a hill, and climb more stairs. My dining plan grew useless, and I grew tired of the same meals after what I considered an Olympic feat. I burned with jealousy and lament the next year when Azalea opened. Always pick classes close to your dorm, kids.

Advertisement
An aerial view of the hill leading to buildings Diffenbaugh, Williams, and the Wescott Fountain
An aerial view of the hill up to Mt. Diffenbaugh, which does not compare to the horror of being at the bottom looking up while it’s raining and you don’t have an umbrella.

You should think about choosing a Learning-Living community

This was honestly my biggest regret about choosing a dorm. I had the opportunity to live in the same building as a lot of people within my major who had the same interests as me. I missed out on the ability to make meaningful connections with people I would have classes with. I talk a lot of smack about housing numbers, and I didn’t want to live in any dorm other than Deviney or Dorman at the time. I thought it was do-or-die to just make sure you got yourself into the newest dorm available. I thought it would be nice to meet more people with different interests from mine. In retrospect, I should’ve taken the advice of a woman who really really tried to convince me otherwise. Trust me, if you have the chance, take it.

See Also

Don’t lose hope if you think your housing number is bad

Let’s put it this way, from a mathematical stance. When you add up the number of beds in dorms at FSU, you get the number 6,733 (at least that’s what my calculator said.) Let’s say you were assigned the number 6,734. That doesn’t mean that you’re SOL and won’t be assigned a dorm at all. Not everyone who signs up for housing ends up living on-campus, and not all those buildings house freshman, so you always have the chance to move up on the list. Something else to consider is how roommate matching works.

Advertisement

If you choose a random roommate, your number will only be affected by the people in front of you living. If you choose your roommate, you lose your place in line and go to their if their housing number is higher than yours, such as if you’re number 400 and choose a roommate whose number is 800. I like to also think that as people pair up and bump themselves to the back, you, and everyone behind you in line moves up one spot from that. I’m unbelievably bad at math though, so confer about this with someone from FSU housing and your local STEM major. The numbers might be off, but the main idea is there. (Math tutoring is available in the ACE building by the way.)

Don’t assume a dorm is “the best” just because it’s a newer building

This was something I really wish bougie 18-old-me would’ve considered. All I wanted was Dorman or Deviney because they were the newest on campus at the time. Granted, I LOVED Deviney. Deviney had the best perks at the time, and sometimes I wish I could’ve lived there for another year. However, if I could’ve stayed in my summer dorm room in Landis Hall (you can live there during summer semesters if you’re not an Honors student), I would’ve liked it more. That room was in a perfect spot to put my bed in a little nook by a window that added an extra five feet of space to the room. Landis is an OLD building from 1939. It’s older than my grandma, but it’s prime real estate with being on Landis Green. The view of walking out of the front door onto Landis at sunset were moments that made me feel at home from how beautiful it was to see, and it was only a door away.

Exterior view of Landis hall from a low perspective, magnifying it's height.
Landis Hall, FSU’s home for the luckiest of all of us.