Do the Dorms Right

I can’t believe that last semester was my last semester living in the ‘Cuse dorms. I’m very excited to have a place off campus this fall, but dorm life is a such a great experience. You’re close to everything, constantly surrounded by friends, and you don’t have to worry about cooking for yourself or cleaning the bathroom. While ultra-convenient, living in a dorm still requires some planning and thought. Here I’ve listed my top five dorm room essentials, based on my on-campus housing experience:  

1. First Aid Kit/ Health Supplies box: Unfortunately, most people are bound to catch a cold at least once a semester (or three times, if you’re like me). It’s always good to have some cough drops or EmergenC on hand, especially during exams when it’s hard to find time to go to CVS.

2. Extra paper towels: Picture yourself lying in bed, studying (or watching Netflix.) You reach over to grab your cup of coffee without looking and spill it all over your desk. I find myself in this situation all too often. Trust me, toilet paper doesn’t get the job done. Keep a couple rolls of paper towels in your room so you don’t have to ask your neighbors for some or use your bath towel to wipe up your latest mess.

3. Doormat: Okay, this might not seem necessary, but trust me, it helps in a place like Syracuse. Coming home with muddy, snowy, wet boots at the end of a winter day and soaking the floor is not a fun way to end a long day of classes. Put your shoes on a small doormat right at the entrance. Not only will you keep the floor dry, but you’re also less likely to misplace your shoes and have to frantically search for them five minutes before class.

4. Bins for storage: Storage for clothes can be tricky, especially if you don’t plan on going home until the end of the semester. Syracuse weather changes very quickly, so even though it seems unnecessary when you move in August to pack a winter jacket, it’s not a bad idea. That being said, you don’t want to be rummaging through your winter hats and sweaters in September when it’s 60 degrees out. Stack storage bins under your bed to keep your clothes organized, easily accessible, but still out of the way.

5. Extra quarters/small bill for laundry: The laundry machines can be a bit temperamental. I’ve been stuck with a pile of wet clothes more than once when the card reader (which you can use to pay for laundry from money on your SuperCard account) wasn’t working. And it’s tougher than you’d think to find someone in the dorms with a spare quarter, so having a few bucks on hand can help you avoid air-drying clothes in your room or exchanging a $20 for 80 quarters.

There ya have it! Pack up these five extra things as you are getting ready to head to the hill and you are ready-made for an even smoother dorm experience.


Samantha Trombley ’18, is public relations and policy studies major. She is originally from Franklin, CT. Sam is a member of Hill Communications, the on-campus public relations firm. She is also a member of the Girl Code Movement, the women’s club lacrosse team, and the Kappa Alpha Theta women’s fraternity. In her free time she enjoys hiking, volunteering, traveling, and spending time with friends. More blogs from Samantha Trombley.

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Four Years, Four “Houses”, Four Unique Experiences


Where you live in college plays a big role in making friends and shaping your experience. As a senior, I have now lived in four completely different places, all of which have their own unique perks and quirks. Below is a breakdown of every place I have lived (or currently live) during my years at SU:

Freshman Year: Brewster, Boland, Brockway Halls (BBB)

I am grateful to have lived here as a freshman because BBB has an extremely close-knit community, likely due to the fact that these are freshmen-only dorms. I immediately became friends with not only the students on my floor, but also those on many other floors. There is also a strong sense of inclusion in BBB as there are plenty of people from other countries and diverse backgrounds. With its own gym located in the basement, BBB residents do not need to leave the building to exercise. Even if you don’t use the gym though, by the end of the school year, you will be in great shape, simply because you will have a bit of a walk to class from BBB, and because it is located on one of Syracuse’s many hills.

Sophomore Year: Marion Hall

Located in the heart of campus, Marion Hall is minutes away from many major buildings. The hall’s easy access to Bird Library made me a library regular my sophomore year. My room was very close to Walnut Avenue, which houses sororities and fraternities, so on some Friday nights, the noise level was a bit loud. (If you are someone who may be in your dorm on weekend nights this may be more of an issue, but if you are someone who enjoys going out, it shouldn’t be a huge problem.) Being a smaller dorm, there wasn’t the same level of community that I enjoyed in BBB but I definitely liked the convenience.

Junior Year: Harrison Street

My junior year, I lived at the top of the hill on Harrison Street, right across from the Chancellor’s house. One unique perk was our apartment’s roof access. It was probably the main reason we signed the lease so quickly, and during the year we hung out up there quite a bit. The location is relatively close to the academic buildings I took classes in and by then, most of my friends lived nearby. Being from California, it was important that if I lived off-campus the house was furnished. Luckily my rent in this house included a bed, refrigerator, desk and other basic furniture. This isn’t necessarily the norm, but with so many out-of-state, and international students at Syracuse, there is definitely furnished off-campus housing to be found. Being out of the dorms was different– but nice– because I was still able to live with my friends, but I had my own room and therefore more personal space.

Senior Year: Euclid Avenue

Senior year is here and I am ending my college career with a great housing arrangement! This year I am living on Euclid Avenue, a very lively street with lots of students and always something going on. Most of my friends are also living around this area, and there has never been a dull moment. The walk to campus is by no means brutal, but it is the longest walk I have had since arriving at SU. I have found that the trickiest part about living off-campus is getting food if you don’t have a campus meal plan. If you or one of your roommates has a car, you can buy groceries and cook for yourself (or get a lot of takeout!) Either way, you just need to plan ahead so you don’t get caught with nothing to eat.

Every dorm and apartment has a different personality, from its location and student community to its dining halls and other amenities. Looking back, I think it’s important to make the most of your freshman experience–that’s where I really found my group of friends. No matter what dorm you are assigned to though, you will have a great first year as you will be surrounded by new friends who will make wherever you live your home.

Check out more dorms, and the rest of the Syracuse campus with the virtual tour!


Eric Chuang ’17, is a  Public Relations major at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications with a minor in English & Textual Studies. Additionally, he is part of the Fashion & Beauty Communications Milestone Program. Eric is a California native, dog enthusiast, fervent traveler, and sushi connoisseur. When not taking Buzzfeed quizzes or coming up with clever Instagram captions, he can most likely be found jamming to Taylor Swift’s “1989” album. More blogs from Eric Chuang.

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