Housing Lottery Hunger Games

Maya Sanchez

Housing. Housing. Housing.

I’m sitting in Diana. The two girls next to me are discussing the pros and cons of living in Plimpton. I’m in Milstein, and my friend is creating a spreadsheet to determine what her chances are of a single, non-shafted room in 616. My junior friends joke about how they’re going to be living in the quad for the fourth year in a row. They’re quad-lifers. I’m in my own room when my roommate collapses on her bed and sighs, saying, “A Hewitt single can’t be that bad, right? And I’ll only be there for a semester anyway.”

Everyone is caught up in the housing fever. Housing can make a break or a friendship, because there’s nothing more important in your Barnard career than the housing lottery. To all those that live off campus, be grateful you don’t have to go through this confusing, stressful time. Trying to piece together a group with a decent lottery number average and then sussing out which dorms fit your group’s needs and wants is harder than getting out of your 2:40 and trying to find a seat in Milstein.

There’s a lot that goes into housing: Do you want to munch down on celery for the first half of fall semester? Do you want a kitchen with an oven that’s never going to be cleaned out properly? Do you want to strategically time your studying schedule to the always-late-but-the-one-time-you’re-running-late-it-leaves Barnard Shuttle to save yourself from the cold, 10 minute walk home? Do you want to live next door to your current significant other, because that’s always the world’s best idea?

Logistically, you have the best options as a six-person suite. But who has six friends? Actually, who has two friends that are willing to squeeze into the Plimpton double, while the rest of your friend group gets to enjoy the comfort and space a single brings? If you do have friends that are willing to take one for the team, be grateful. Hug them tight and swipe them for a Diana smoothie. They deserve all the smoothies.

The housing lottery seems like the end of the world with multiple bad endings. What if I don’t get the suite I want? What if I have to go to the 123 lottery? And the worst of the worst: What if I have to go to guaranteed housing?

Fear not, dear Barnard students. Housing isn’t the end of the world. Whether going through the lottery or going through guaranteed housing, you’re going to be living just fine next year. Sure, not everything is sunshine and butterflies, but you’ll have a place to call home! Maybe you’ll be living with your friends, maybe you’ll have a chance to make some new friends! Maybe one of your best friends will be roommates with your ex-not-ex! And on the bright side: No matter where in Barnard housing you end up, your clothes will never be fully dry after a single cycle!

Aside from the snark, there are worse things than housing. After all, we’re all still going to Bold Brilliant Barnard, a college of the Greatest University in the Greatest City of the World. Sure, it feels like it matters oh-so-much and, to a certain extent, it does. Over the past year, I’ve grown incredibly close to one of my friends as we walk back from Milstein together at 2am. The conversations we’ve had in the ten minute walk are thoughtful and insightful, sometimes a little loopy as our brains weren’t fully functioning at the early morning hours. And we don’t even live together; we just happen to live in the same building.

So, even though housing is just around the corner and it feels like it’s the one thing that people won’t stop talking about, the housing craze will pass. You’ll live where you live and the world will still turn, even if you get a bad lottery number.