The Housing Lottery and Midterms

Two important things are going on this weekend at Puget Sound: the housing lottery, and gearing up for midterms. I’ll start by discussing the housing lottery, which happened this past Saturday. You can find descriptions of various residence halls in the Student Life section of the Puget Sound website, so I’ll try to talk mostly about my housing lottery experience and briefly touch on the various housing options.

For upperclassmen, on campus housing comes in three main flavors: Trimble suites, on-campus houses, and residence halls. Trimble suites are made up of 4-6 singles per room, as well as a private bathroom, common area, and kitchenette. On campus houses include theme houses that groups apply to create – ranging from the visual arts house to the music house to the Harry Potter house – as well as a number of non-theme and Greek houses. Only non-theme houses are part of the housing lottery; you join Greek houses during Rush and theme houses have their own independent application process. Lastly, residence halls are upperclassmen dorms that include large doubles as well as some three-person suites and singles.

The different housing options are all great: I’ll focus on the ones you apply for through the lottery process since that is what I did this year. Trimble suites tend to be the most popular and are thus selected earliest in the housing lottery, but because the university owns a number of houses along its perimeter, many people who want to live in a suite-style environment apply for houses. Houses are great because they have multiple common areas and full kitchens. The residence halls also have similar suite style living as well as singles and doubles, so they provide a variety of different options.

The housing lottery itself, while notoriously stressful at some colleges, went really smoothly for me. There are so many housing options that it’s easy to find a great place to live (and housing is guaranteed for all undergraduates).

The housing lottery runs from 11-5, and my time was 12:15. Housing lottery times are determined based on class standing, with seniors getting the earliest times. Within classes, housing times are randomized. Because I entered Puget Sound with sophomore standing, I was lucky enough to get to register with the juniors. I registered with a group of five other freshmen, and each member of a housing group gets to adopt the best time within that group. (Also, if people are not available to register on the day of the lottery, they may designate a student to register for them by proxy, which I also did with my group. One of my friends won a singing competition and had to perform during the lottery, and it was no problem adding him to my housing group.)

We started the lottery by entering a holding room where we checked in and then saw all of the available housing options on a whiteboard. We were aiming for a 6-person Trimble suite, and there were eight available, which was a good sign. We were called into the “contract-signing” room, where you sign your housing lease, and we were able to pick the suite we wanted, sign our contracts, and call it a day. We were very lucky to get a great suite; much thanks to the housing staff who showed us exactly where our suite would be located and its room layout.

All in all, the housing lottery process went really smoothly for me, and it did for those I talked to as well. Puget Sound makes it really easy to find great housing, and they even give tours of the housing options and publicize the process early in February so that students can prepare for the lottery well ahead of time.

That’s all on housing. Now I need to get back to work on my midterms. I’m busy studying for a chemistry exam, working on a history paper on the development of the Code of Law in Livy’s Early History of Rome and Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People, keeping up with British Literature reading and thinking ahead about a paper on Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, preparing for chemistry lab, and working on a computer science number-guessing program. In addition, my roommate and I will be hosting two visiting students this week! It is certainly going to be a busy week, but I love my classes this semester, which keeps me motivated.

That’s all for now – next week’s Spring Break at Puget Sound. If you’re a prospective student, know that Puget Sound’s spring break tends to fall at a different time from most high school’s breaks, so your Spring Break can be a great time to visit campus when you have a large stretch of travel time and while classes are in session here (if you don’t already have travel plans). I did that my senior year of high school and it worked great – I had a chance to sit in on classes and not have to worry about traveling to campus and back during a weekend.

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