Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Why New Dorms Are the Best Dorms

    Hello devoted Hoo Stories readers! It’s Brynna today and this post is all about why NEW dorms
are the BEST dorms.
    For context, “New Dorms” are the first year residence halls located on Alderman Road. These
nine hall-style dorms were constructed between 2008 and 2015, making them the newest dorms on
grounds (hence the name). While every first year dorm experience comes with both advantages and
disadvantages, by the end of first year every student has a fierce allegiance to their particular dorm.
I am no exception, and as a former New Dorms resident (Balz Dobie 4L 4Life) I have been itching
at the chance to brag about my former home.

Some of my hallmates and I in front of the New Dorms area on Alderman Road.

So without further ado, I present to you all the reasons why:
NEW Dorms are the BEST Dorms

  1. They are BRAND new
Practically sparkling. They were built with modern technology, design, and lifestyles in mind.
There are so many outlets, lots of natural light, high ceilings, new furniture, lights that automatically
turn on and off in common areas, and brand new bathrooms.
Balz-Dobie, my former “New Dorms” home. Photo courtesy of Housing and Residence Life.

2. Air Conditioning
All of these dorms are air conditioned, which is nice especially for the first few and last few weeks
of the academic year. Move-in day in August seems to always be the hottest day of the year, and my
roommate (pictured below) and I felt lucky to move our things into a cool building instead of a hot,
sticky one. My dorm also had options to adjust the temperature in each room, from “warmer” to
“cooler”, allowing you to adjust the AC or the heat according to your individual living style.
My roommate, Jane, and I in our air-conditioned room on move-in day (August 2017). This is my bed, which I partially
lofted to fit all of my belongings underneath. I was able to fit way more than I had anticipated in my dorm room and had
space for everything I needed.

3. Lounges and Study Rooms
The lounges and study rooms on each of the six floors of my building were some of my favorite
parts of living in New Dorms. The lounges had TVs we could plug our laptops into to watch Netflix,
and lots of couches for hanging out with friends. The study rooms had white boards, desks, desk chairs,
and armchairs. Personally, I never studied at the desk provided for me in my dorm room. While it can
be fun to study in libraries around grounds, it was extremely convenient to have other study spaces
within the comfort of my home. Especially in the winter when the walk back from the library at night
can be pretty chilly, these study rooms came in handy.

A lounge (left) and a study room (right) in my dorm. Photos courtesy of Housing and Residence Life.

4. Laundry Rooms
Every new dorm has its own laundry room, so you never have to go far to do your laundry. There are
approximately 10 washing machines and 10 dryers with multiple settings (delicates, colors, whites, etc.).
You might not be thinking about laundry yet, but I promise that you’ll be grateful for your New Dorm
laundry room when it’s raining, cold, or late and you just can’t put off doing your laundry any longer.

My hallmates Stephanie and Edie in the Balz-Dobie laundry room. They prove that laundry rooms can double as a fantastic
photo backdrop (who knew?).

5. The Kitchenette
The first floor of every New Dorm has a small kitchen area, or a kitchenette. There’s an oven, stove,
sink, counter space, and a refrigerator. All first year students have unlimited meal plans, so this kitchen
is not really used for cooking daily meals. However, this space is awesome for baking cookies, heating
up leftovers, or storing ice cream in a freezer.
Ja’Mel lived in my dorm building first year and loved to bake. He and my hallmate, Marisa, baked cookies, cupcakes,
and cinnamon rolls pretty regularly. Good for me because they always shared :)

6. The View
New Dorms are typically 6 stories tall (don’t worry, there’s elevators). This means that the view from
your lounge and sometimes even your dorm room is pretty phenomenal. Check out some pictures that
students have taken from their respective New Dorm.

The view from Lile-Maupin dorm. Photo courtesy of Biogrounds.
The view from Kellogg Dorm. Photo courtesy of Felix Park and UVA Arts.

7. The People
While dorms can simply be a place where you live, they also can be a great place to make friends.
I am an out of state student and before moving in last August I did not know a single person at UVA.
But yet, I remember feeling like I had found a community from the very first weekend here. I have my
dorm to thank for that. Many of my hallmates quickly became my best friends, my entire hall became
a community I could always fall back on, and my RA (resident advisor) became an advisor and friend

No matter which dorm or what type of dorm you end up living in your first year, you will meet people
who make the world a little brighter. People make a place a home, and for that reason you will always
have a home in your first year dorm.

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