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Hi everyone!

It’s almost that time for college decisions to come out, meaning that high school seniors will soon have a lot to consider. There are many things to think about when choosing a college, and yet residential life–an important aspect of the college experience–is often overlooked. The quality of dorms and residential life on campus are especially important at a school like Carleton, where the vast majority of students live on campus all four years.

I have already talked about my experience with floor life at Carleton in a previous post, so today I will focus on the physical features of my dorm and the practical aspects of living in a residence hall. First, I live on the third floor of Cassat Hall, which is one of the newest (and nicest) dorms on campus. My room has a ceiling fan and heated floors, two of the amenities which give Cassat its modern feel and good reputation on campus.

A few other amenities that make Cassat a great place to live include the lounges and study rooms on each floor, the kitchens, and the showers (yes, the showers). First, each floor has a lounge with comfy couches and chairs, a table, and a television. This makes the lounge a nice place to have floor hangouts and to spend time with friends. In addition to the lounge, there are study rooms for people to work in if they need a little peace and quiet.

3rd Cassat Lounge
study room
3rd Cassat Study Room








Each floor also has a kitchen with a fridge, microwave, and oven, which students can use at any time (in fact, a number of residents on 3rd Cassat cook regularly). Finally, as weird as it may sound, the showers in Cassat are pretty nice. Each shower stall is actually a small room with a changing area, shelves, and wall hooks, which end up being really convenient.

3rd Cassat Kitchen
3rd Cassat shower
3rd Cassat Showers








In terms of the features of my room specifically, it is pretty large in comparison to most of the dorms I saw during college visits. Because I have a corner room, I have two sets of large windows which give my room a lot of natural light. The room also has two ceiling lights, but like many dorm rooms, the lights are pretty bright and harsh in my opinion. Because of this, I would suggest bringing desk lamps so that you don’t have to keep the ceiling lights on at night or get up to turn them off.

One of the windows in my room

I would also recommend bringing objects that will make your dorm feel like home, so that you can bring a sense of familiarity to your new living space. To make the room cozier, my roommate and I decorated by adding a large rug and hanging up string lights on our walls. I also brought a lot of photos from home, a collapsable comfy chair, and a poster of my favorite band.

In addition, unlike some of the residence halls which house mostly freshmen, Cassat has a mix of residents of all class years. Before you come to Carleton, you will have to fill out a questionnaire about your living preferences. One of the questions on the form asks whether you prefer to live in a freshmen dorm. I said no, which I believe is one of the reasons why I ended up in a nicer dorm like Cassat. Alternatively, however, freshmen floors tend to have better floor life, meaning more socializing amongst residents.

When it comes to choosing a room for next year, I might not get a dorm quite as nice as Cassat. At Carleton, rising sophomores through seniors choose their dorms for the next year through a process called “room draw.” Each student is given a random lottery number, and students will select their dorms in that order.

My roommate, Maya, and I are planning on being roommates again next year, and I had the better number between us. This means that we will select a room using my number, 3,105 (which does NOT mean that I’m the 3,105th person in the school to choose, but the 105th in the rising sophomore class).

We don’t know yet which dorm we will be in next year, as room draw does not actually happen until May. Ideally, we would like to be in Evans, which is the majority-sophomore dorm on campus, or Burton. Both, however, are popular options so we might not be able to get a dorm there. In that case, we would like to live in Myers or Watson, two residence halls which house a lot of freshmen.

No matter where we live next year, it will be fine. In all honesty, none of Carleton’s residence halls are bad, and every hall has its benefits. I am lucky to live in Cassat this year, but I know that wherever I live next year will be great, too. Feel free to email me if you have any questions about residential life at Carleton!


Andriana is a native of Richmond, VA, and is looking forward to starting her freshman year at Carleton. She is especially excited to experience the Minnesotan Tundra first-hand and learn what the phrase “polar vortex” really means. When Andriana isn’t busy staying warm, you can find her binge-reading, playing music, or watching a favorite movie or show for the umpteenth time. She is hoping to double major in International Relations and English, while also reminding herself to keep an open mind as she begins her college career. Meet the other bloggers!