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Surviving the housing lottery

It’s essentially the same feeling as showing up to an exam and realizing that you have no idea how to answer the first question. Your stomach drops, your cheeks flush, you feel all warm and sickly and you just want to run to the bathroom. Nothing puts a strain on your stomach quite like the housing lottery.  

Our friend, the housing lottery, has a remarkable gift for bringing out the animalistic qualities in us all. There’s a reason why, a few years back, Res Life advertised the housing lottery with a “Hunger Games” theme, and it’s a pretty apt comparison, because, frankly, it feels like a fight to the death. Why does it feel that way, you ask? Simple:

It’s tricky living on campus. There are very obvious and absolute pros and cons to any residence hall around here, and the opinions people form are typically pretty strong. 

For instance, while Stambaugh has its moments of unpleasantness, you can’t beat the proximity to the pharmacy building, business building, Subway and the library. 

Brookhart has a pretty sweet deal going, in that it’s the closest you could ever get to White Bear, and if you have an 8 a.m. class in the PAC, you can literally roll out of bed 5 minutes before the class starts and get there with a minute or so to spare. Stadium View apartments are fantastic spaces, but, let’s be real: that walk to class on a December morning is going to make you question the merits of that awesome refrigerator. 

You spend an entire year figuring out which set of pros and cons most aligns with your personal needs, and then you’ve got to find someone you like who agrees with you enough to live with you, unless you’re one of those cool people who go the single room route. 

That, alone, is enough to stress you out. Then, you wait for the gods of housing numbers to send you your fate. In the meantime, you’re panicking every minute of the day that housing is open to other students and not you. You hear excited squeals of people with better lottery numbers than you who’ve already settled where they’re living, and their excitement makes you seethe. So what do you do?

Relax. Here’s why: even if you’re at the bottom of the lottery barrel, you will be placed somewhere. It might not be your top choice. It might not be ideal. But you will be placed somewhere on campus. 

Keep in mind that this campus is tiny, and that even the longest walking distance isn’t the end of the world. With a decent enough parka, you’ll at least survive long enough to make it to Mac breakfast. Additionally, if you study hard enough in the library and get yourself involved on campus with enough organizations to make your agenda book look horrifying, you won’t spend that much time in your room, anyway. At the end of the day, it’s only two semesters. You’ll get through this, at least, until the next housing lottery.

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