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House Life!

Hannah explains what her living situation looks like for this term.

Hannah explains what her living situation looks like for this term.

Last year I wrote a post about what living in a dorm as a freshman was like. This year — as a result of the room draw process during the spring — I am living in a house! Despite not residing in a dorm, I am still technically living in Carleton housing, because the college owns several houses in Northfield. Though I did not plan on originally living in a house, so far it has been an incredible experience!

How did I end up in a house?

Thanks to the room draw process that happens during the spring term, I was able to snag a room that was not in a dorm. The Office of Residential Life and Housing (or Res Life as Carleton students refer to it) assigns every student a number starting at 1 all the way to the number of students per class, so somewhere in the 500 range. Each number receives a time in which they can select a room within a building, with 1 receiving the priority time.

This year I am rooming with my friend Audrey, and we had a number in the high 200s. By the time it came for our turn to draw, there was one house that had one room left. We just happened to get lucky that nobody chose this house!

Audrey and I decided that living in a house would be fun, so we decided to give it a shot.

My room this year (featuring my super cool geology and national park posters)!

What do I have access to?

In the house, there are two bathrooms, a washer and dryer in the basement, a living room, a study room, a dining room, and a kitchen. We share the house with other housemates, and we knew none of them coming in, so it has been a great experience getting to know the people we live with.


  • The laundry is always open! I have yet to have to wait to wash or dry my clothes, which was a pretty common problem when I was living in a dorm hall. Though we only have one washer or dryer, it always seems to be empty and ready for use.
  • The kitchen! This term I have switched my meal plan to 15 meals per week instead of 20. Despite having fewer meals, I have more dining dollars that I can use at the cafes on campus. I haven’t quite decided if this is the right meal plan for me because I have to buy breakfast food, but it is nice to have the extra money to buy snacks and extra meals if I need them. Audrey is on the 5 meal plan, so she cooks every day.


The kitchen! Or half of it technically (we do have two refrigerators as well).


  • The distance! Though I am farther away from the center of campus, I actually like the separation from school that it gives me. Living in a house definitely gives it a more “homey” vibe that I often miss when I am at college. I am also closer to downtown Northfield, which means it is a bit faster to get to my favorite coffee spots to study, or thrift stores (though maybe for the sake of my budget that isn’t the best thing).
  • The windows. One of my favorite parts of living in Myers Hall last year was the giant windows I had. Luckily my current room has windows on two different walls, allowing sun and natural light to come flooding in almost the entire day!


study room
A study/sun room with great windows


  • Public spaces. My experience during dorm living was that public areas such as lounges, bathrooms, and study rooms were often being used. Here there seems to be much more room and less traffic, which as an introverted person I really appreciate.


dining room
Our sunny dining room!


  • Distance. Though it is also a pro, I do have to bike to most places on campus if I want my travel time to be efficient. I also feel like I don’t see as many people anymore because I am not spending as much time there in common spaces outside of classes and some meals. When I want to go see my friends living in other areas it kind of feels like a trek (though in reality, Carleton’s campus is easily walkable and not that large, it is just further than I am used to).
  • Getting to dining halls. Last year I could simply roll out of bed 20 minutes before class started and grab breakfast at the Language and Dining Center (LDC) which was maybe a 20-second walk from my dorm. This year I am much farther from LDC —a place where I get a lot of my meals— so it is slightly less convenient.

My Favorite Part

Despite all the pros and cons of living in a house, I would say my favorite part is living with my roommate Audrey. It is so fun to eat meals with her, hang out in our room, and laugh about everything that happened throughout our day (whether it’s good or bad, we have fun).

My super cool roomie



Hannah is a sophomore interested in Geology, Political Science, and Classics. Still unsure what she will major in, she likes to spend her time learning as much as she can about whatever she can. Born and raised in Minnesota, she considers herself somewhat of an expert on MN winters. At Carleton, she fills her schedule with writing for the Admissions blog, working as a CCCE Communications Fellow, taking flute lessons, and increasing voter engagement on campus. When Hannah isn’t in class, she can be found tossing a frisbee, thrifting, running for fun, looking at rocks, reading, walking and skiing in the Arb, and hanging out with her besties. Meet the other bloggers!