Tag: dorms

Beyond Ramen: Johns Hopkins Teaches Gourmet Dorm Cooking

Photo via smithsonian.com


During the month of January, Johns Hopkins hosts Intersession. Students can choose from a number of 3-week classes, some of them very serious; others, less so. But by far the most useful offering this Intersession was Dorm Cooking 101.

To Transfer or Not to Transfer? That is the Question for Unhappy College Co-ed


It is hard for any of us, much less a confused, unhappy nineteen year old, to sift through the many truths of life for clarity.  Such is the challenge for Emily, who thinks she wants to transfer.  She knows that she is not a happy college freshman, but can’t say for sure why.  Is it her college?  The program?  The size of the school (small)?  The other kids who go there?  The distance from home?  The distance from her boyfriend?  Or is she just in a personal valley?

Emily is trying to parse out the elements, separate one fact (she doesn’t like the intensity of the business focus) from another (she finds the social life boring).  But things are complicated – and even from a distance, and being inclined to strong opinions, we can’t help her distill the one factor to hang her unhappy hat on.

Dropping Off the Firstborn at College



People have been very kind this week, asking me how I am doing, whether we have heard from Emily, how the drop off went.  Honestly, it is still a bit of a blur, and I hope that when the focus clears, we will have a little time under our belts, and things won’t seem so strange.

If you have been following our story this year, you know Emily is our firstborn.  Dropping her off at college last Friday was sort of like leaving a limb behind.  Emily has been an integral part of daily life for the last 18 ½ years, and enjoys a leading role in our family’s cast.  Although she has been away before, for exchange programs and camps, we all know it is different this time, and that our family life will never be the same.

Better Than a Dorm Room: Students Rent McMansions in California


The St. Mary students who were temporarily moved to a cruise ship while their dorm rooms were cleared of mold probably think they have it pretty good. Just don’t tell them about what’s going on at the University of California, Merced — where students are living in mansions, complete with chandeliers and jacuzzis. And it’s actually cheaper than living on campus.

It’s a recession-era story if we’ve ever heard one — the area was overbuilt during the real estate boom, and now dozens (if not hundreds) of McMansions sit empty in overdeveloped subdivisions. At the same time, the school grew more quickly than dorm space did; UC Merced has 5200 students, but dorm space for only 1600. Enterprising students looked at these two facts and figured… why not? And so these days five students renting a swanky five-bedroom house pay around $200 to $350 each for the privilege of enjoying pool tables and granite countertops.

Which, of course, irks the neighbors who bought full-price houses, expecting “an edge-of-town, Desperate Housewifey community,” and instead found themselves underwater on their mortgages — and living next to the new Kappa Kappa Gamma party house.

St. Mary’s Students Evacuated… to a Cruise Ship


When mold was discovered in two residence halls at St. Mary’s College, administrators scrambled to shuffle students around so they could get in there and clean the icky stuff away. Doubles were converted to triples, four-person townhouses became five-person townhouses, and, as a last resort, the school booked hotel rooms for some of the 350 students who had to be relocated.

But although a free stint in a hotel room sounds pretty great, it turned out to be more trouble than it was worth — mainly because students had a hard time getting to school. So school officials came up with an ingenious plan for how to get the students back on the water-side campus… they rented a cruise ship, and docked it near the college’s pier on St. Mary’s River. Around 240 students will call the Sea Voyager home for the rest of the semester. Hopefully it will kind of be like Breaker High.*


*a Canadian teen comedy-drama series that ran from 1997 to 1998, set at a high school located on a cruise ship, allowing the episodes to be set in a variety of exotic locations, although the series was, in fact, filmed entirely in Burnaby, British Columbia. The show dealt with teen issues such as dating, finances, and friendship, although the series tended to steer away from the “tougher” situations outlined in other teen dramas at the time. Starring a teen Ryan Gosling as Sean Stanley Hanlon – “The wannabe ladies’ man.”

Baltimore’s Best Dorm Room


I always figured that living in a miserable dorm room was one of those character-building, out-of-the-classroom learning experiences that you were supposed to have in college. Two people cramming all their worldly possessions in a tiny room with cinderblock walls:  for many of us, the dorm room was where we first learned compromise, cooperation, and how to loft a bed.

So in that way, I feel sorry for the students who are unfortunate enough to live in Loyola’s Newman Towers, an apartment-style dorm on the school’s North Baltimore campus. The residence hall just came in at number six on CampusSplash’s list of the 15 best dorms in the country, and no wonder:  each apartment includes a full bathroom, living room, full kitchen, walk-in closets, a dining room… Oh, and the building itself boasts several restaurants and a grocery store. “If I never had to leave this building I never would,” a Loyola student told CampusSplash.

What was your college dorm like?