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Ranking First-Year Dorms

Defne reviews the seven first-year dorms on campus

Defne reviews the seven first-year dorms on campus

I really like hanging out in people’s rooms and getting a glimpse of how they live. Therefore, I am somewhat of a dorm connoisseur, I dare say. Here is my completely subjective but generally accepted ranking.

Musser Hasll
A Musser Hall double


There are two unfortunate realities of Musser that puts it on the bottom of my list:

1- The location

Most of the first year dorms are located on the opposite side of the campus, closer to the Mini Bald Spot, while Musser is closer to downtown. If you go to Weitz or downtown a lot, this might also be a positive aspect, but socially it’s a bit isolating.

2-The overall vibes

Myers and Musser have white tiled hallways which are often compared to an old style hospital. The facilities are not bad in any shape or form, but the white lights and white tiled corridors make them feel a bit cold.


Living in Myers as a first year is like a cannon event, since there are two all-first-year floors. A lot of my friends live there and although I love saying that the corridors make it look like a hospital, it is a fact that Myers has the best bathrooms out of all the first year dorms. The location is not bad either with its proximity to East Dining Hall. The issue is the vibes…


I have a whole blog on Watson, but very shortly, what makes Watson great is the coziness and the spacious rooms. The floor lounges aren’t amazing but we have a large basement and the Japanese Garden is basically our backyard. There are better dorms than Watson, there are worse. The vibes are impeccable in my opinion though. Also air conditioning is really hard to beat.

Goodhue Hall
Goodhue Hall


Do you like walking? Do you like walking a lot? Then you might think that Goodhue deserves a better ranking than this. But the rest of us think it is less than desired to walk a bridge to get breakfast in winter. Aside from the location, I don’t think there is anything wrong with Goodhue. The Super Lounge is a really nice place to spend time with friends, and the surrounding nature is beautiful. The rooms are a bit dark for my liking but aside from that, Goodhue is good enough.

Nourse Hall
Nourse Hall


Nourse has Hogwarts on a budget vibes. The dark wood interior and carpeted floors make it very very homely and beautiful. Study rooms and lounges are not enourmous but very practical and always a great place to spend time with friends. The kitchen is very spacious since it’s connected to the lounge. Also, the windows… Amazing triptych windows.


Cassat has a very nice basement with a kitchen that comes with a fridge that can make ice (fancy), and a big TV (fancier). It also has a lot of study rooms where you can go be productive and do work or just watch Twilight with your friends, which is what I do instead. Cassat rooms are very spacious and they have high ceilings (fanciest). If you were assigned Cassat, congratulations, you won, but don’t rub it in our faces.

Burton Hall
Burton Hall


Burton is Nourse but in an elongated architectural form, if that makes sense. People who live here can boast by saying that they have their own dining hall, which is located in the basement of Burton. Although it is not close to most of the other first-year dorms, it is closer to lecture halls and the library. The interior has dark wood details and carpets like Nourse and the rooms are not small. It is top three for sure.


Honestly, dorms don’t matter that much. Most of the time I just come to my dorm room to sleep, and most of the facilities are very similar, if not the exact same. I would also like to remind that these are my personal opinions and people will have different rankings according their priorities and life styles. If you want to be right next to the gym, maybe you might prefer Watson. Or maybe you want to have a morning in the Arb everyday and Goodhue sounds like Perfecthue to you. Who am I to judge? No matter where you live, or which dorm you prefer, Carleton will feel like home.

Defne (she/her/hers), is a first year international student from Istanbul, Turkey. Her natural habitat is the library and her diet consists of tea, coffee and LDC pizza. An artistic specimen, she dabbles in all art forms from printmaking to theater. She can be observed reading comics in the bookstore in downtown Northfield.