Hi there, steadily-growing class of 2019 (holy moly I’m ancient)! Up until this very moment, I’ve been blogging about some of the more, errr, thought-provoking questions we’re wont to ask ourselves throughout this crazy decision-making process: why Hopkins? What does it mean to be a Hopkins student? That’s all well and good, but now that some of you are already decked out in your black and blue and counting down the days until orientation, I think it’s time to address one of your slightly more practical questions: where the heck am I going to live?

This question gave me undue stress when I was a pre-frosh. I clocked far too much time staring at that housing form, driving myself crazy over whether I was more fundamentally compatible with the AMRs or the Buildings. Sure, I was relentless on my campus tour and blew up the admitted students Facebook page with questions, but the answer always came down to some variation of, “there are pros and cons to every dorm.” And that’s true! But a little unhelpful? So now I’m going to try to really quantify those pros and cons and give you indecisive folks an idea of what this whole dorm livin’ thing is all about. Then you get to decide what seals the deal, and what breaks it.

Two important things before we get cracking: I do not work for housing, and I’m not an advisor! This is just a candid look at my personal experiences, current Hopkins student to future Hopkins student. If you have any serious questions or concerns, visit the housing and dining office’s website and give them a call: http://pages.jh.edu/~hds/. It’s also important to remember that there’s no guarantee you’ll end up living in the building you marked as your first preference on the housing form. The lottery is a mysterious entity that cares nothing for your petty, mortal wishes. Still, I believe it’s a force for good. I was a little disappointed when I found out I’d be living in AMR II Clark after putting down the Buildings as my number one, and I can safely say living in the AMRs is the best thing that’s happened to me at Hopkins. I met my best friends there. Moral of the story: you can be a happy, successful, social Hopkins student in any of the freshman dorms. Nothing is make-or-break here. This is supposed to be the fun part!

So let’s get started.

AMR I and II – #socollege

The Alumni Memorial Residence halls (we fancy) are the definition of tradition. Think corridors and cool Hogwarts-esque “houses.” You can snag either a double or a single in these babies.

LOVE: I’ll try not to gush about the AMRs, even though they’re my home territory, and I’m programmed to tell you how fab they are. But since I can speak from personal experience, I’ll tell you that I loved the entire AMR ~vibe~: its design breeds social interaction, and it’s pretty easy to make lifelong friends living in those close quarters. The houses encourage this great sense of unity and tradition. Proximity to academic buildings and the FFC is another big perk.

Get on board with: Communal bathrooms, no air conditioning, and the aforementioned close quarters. I also found there was kind of a universal “open door” policy across the AMRs, which meant more fun, but less privacy.

Basically Hogwarts.

Basically Hogwarts.

Buildings A and B/AMR III Best of both worlds

If you’re into the suite life (NO MORE DISNEY CHANNEL REFERENCES), but still want to be in the thick of things on campus, this may be the best option for you. Suites are broken down into two bedrooms (which can be singles, doubles, or triples) that share a bathroom.

LOVE: You live on top of the FFC. Private bathrooms, air conditioning, and excellent location. Despite there being more people in your dorm room, I’d say it’s easier to get some alone/quiet time in a suite, since you’re less likely to constantly be at the mercy of your floormates.

Get on board with: There’s a perception that the buildings are slightly less social than other dorms, particularly the AMRs. I think it’s pretty ridiculous to generalize a group of people based on a building they were assigned to almost randomly. And there are so many social opportunities on campus that have nothing to do with where you rest your head, so, at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter.

Don't you just love some photogenic architecture?

Don’t you just love some photogenic architecture?

Wolman – Putting on the Ritz

Ahhh the shiny new toy of freshman housing. Wolman is split into two wings, East and West, and is further broken down into suites of single and double rooms. Throw in some kitchenettes and a few kick-butt common rooms, and you’ve got Wolman.

LOVE: The rooms are new, spacious, and air-conditioned. Having your own kitchenette is kind of the holy grail of college living, and Wolman’s got ‘em. Not only is it the closest to all of the cool food places on St. Paul Street (blessed, blessed Chipotle), but the Charles Street Market is literally right around the corner.

Get on board with: Not living on the freshman quad can be kind of a drag. You have three years to take up residence across the street from campus, and only one year to get the on-campus experience. It all depends on how much that’s worth to you.

Wolman even looks good from the side.

 Good luck, and may the lottery be ever in your favor!