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(Risk-Free) Dorm Tour!

Welcome to Lucas' virtual tour of his dorm room in Burton Hall.

Welcome to Lucas' virtual tour of his dorm room in Burton Hall.


So . . . a lot’s been happening.

Can’t visit campus because of COVID-19 restrictions? Fear not! The admissions blog team is here to provide the next-best thing: tours through our blogs! This way, you’ll at least get a(n online) glimpse of what residential life here at Carleton looks like — brought to you in the safety of your very own home.

Last year I lived in Cassat Hall, which I believe is the campus’ newest residence building. As a result, it has the reputation for being the “nicest,” at least among the dorms freshmen end up living in. What I think this translates to in practice is that everything’s newer and thus maybe a bit cleaner and more reliable — there’s a shiny, modern feel to the place, the bathrooms are spacious and afford lots of privacy, etc.

Additionally, Cassat features a few innovations I really like, such as efficient heating through the floors and electricity from solar power. Finally, while Cassat’s rooms aren’t as huge as some others I’ve seen, they certainly aren’t small. So if you’re assigned to Cassat as a freshman like I was: congrats! You can expect a decent amount of space in a brand-new building at the bare minimum.

Cassat Hall from outside, covered in falling snow
Cassat Hall in winter!
The inside of Lucas' old Cassat dorm room
My old Cassat room

This year I live in Burton Hall, a much older, larger residence hall on campus. Since it’s connected to Sayles-Hill Campus Center and the Burton Dining Hall (and two other dorms, Davis and Severance Halls, for that matter), it’s a real hub for the campus. Everyone knows where Burton is; it’s an important part of your life at Carleton regardless of whether you end up living there or not. (This also means a lot of through-traffic, which has its own positives and negatives).

Relative to Cassat, Burton’s primary weakness would be its relative age and room sizes: everything’s literally just older (although this adds genuine character to the space, which I really appreciate — I love our old-school windows and wooden accents, for example), and the rooms tend to be on the smaller side as far as I’ve seen. Its advantages would include location and aesthetics.

I think part of what makes Burton a desirable place to live in at Carleton is the fact that it’s connected to so many other campus buildings. From your room in Burton, you can grab a meal at a dining hall, go to an appointment at SHAC, or pick up your mail from Sayles all without ever having to go outside. Now, I love going outside, but I have to admit that getting to all these locations without even having to get out of my PJs is an occasionally appreciated luxury, during winter term in particular.

I also think Burton is a bit prettier than Cassat. On the outside it’s close, although I’d still give the edge to Burton, primarily because of its size, but inside I think my point is more apparent. The views are also beautiful. (Again, though: I truthfully think most buildings on this campus are pretty and have great views. I’m easily impressed, so maybe don’t take my word on all this.)

Burton Hall from outside on a sunny day
Beautiful, gigantic Burton Hall

Both years I’ve had one roommate. Although part of me hoped for a single in freshman year, I’m really happy that didn’t happen. I knew deep down that living with someone would be good for me for a variety of reasons, and the same held true this year. Now I sort of have the best of both worlds: I have a roommate, but also my own room!

Jack and I live in a “separated double,” which means our main door opens into his room, which has another door that opens into a closety-type space where my bed and dresser are. It’s definitely tiny, but somehow that’s part of the charm? I do most of my “living” in Jack’s room / our common room, but it’s quite cozy having my own lil nook off to the side. I can have privacy and quiet when I want it, but I’m always with a friend, so I’m not too worried about accidentally over-isolating myself.

Next year, we hope to live in a quad in Davis or Severance (Sevy for short), because we’re quite fond of The Complex (Davis, Burton, Sevy, Sayles, etc.) now. Wish us luck!

Lucas and Jack's room in Burton Hall
Jack’s room in Burton…
Lucas' small side room in Burton Hall
…and my lil room in Burton!

On a final note, here’s my Totally Scientific and Unquestionably, Objectively Correct ranking of all the primary residence halls on campus, according to overall desirability as a function of things like location, room sizes and options, social atmosphere, etc.:

  1. James Hall
  2. Severance Hall
  3. Davis Hall
  4. Cassat Hall
  5. Burton Hall
  6. Evans Hall
  7. Nourse Hall
  8. Myers Hall
  9. Watson Hall
  10. Goodhue Hall
  11. Musser Hall

Just for y’all’s reference. And there isn’t even a comments section for my fellow Carls to leave hate on. 😉


Lucas is in his sophomore year at Carleton, bringing with him a passion for all things nerdy and a talent for overthinking and awkwardness (and self-deprecation). He hails from Pasadena, California, and yes, he realizes it gets cold out here. He currently sees himself majoring in Physics, although he hopes to explore Cinema and Media Studies, Chemistry, Economics, and Computer Science (among many other subjects) as well. He misses his bearded dragon. Meet the other bloggers!