A window inside life at Augustana College

Livin’ it up in a Lounge

Well, hello, world of future Augustana students. My very first post will be about something most of you are probably anxious about: where you’re going to live.

Do a little research, and you’ll find that there are 5 residence halls – Westerlin, Erickson, Swanson, Andreen and Seminary. But something you won’t find nice little photos and descriptions of on the housing website are the floor lounges, where some of you might be living when you get here.

I got an email over the summer saying that I’d been put in temporary housing, that I’d be living in the floor lounge of Westerlin’s J Wing. And I was really confused, so if you’ve read this post and you get such an email, hopefully you won’t be as confused as I was. First of all, there are normally four people living in a lounge as opposed to two in a regular room. So I have three roommates, not just one. The admissions people actually did a really good job of matching me with some very nice, like-minded roommates who I really like. And although having three roommates took a little getting used to, I enjoy it now. When two of them were away this weekend, the room just seemed unnaturally quiet.

Then there’s the question of space. The lounges are really big, and we probably have more room than most people, but the way the room is configured, our four lofted beds are crammed in on one side and then we have this huge empty space on the other side. A TV? A refrigerator? A microwave? A small table and chairs? You’ll probably have room for all of those if you live in a lounge. The downside about space is that you don’t have very much personal space, and there’s only one closet. Thankfully, with four girls in room, there hasn’t been a dispute about closet space yet. Oh, and a word to the wise, don’t throw your clothes all over other people’s space. Remember that you’re sharing a room with someone who might not appreciate sitting on a pair of shorts that you’ve thrown on their chair.

Even though space is an issue – too much of it and too little – there are some things that you get in a loungs that you don’t anywhere else:

a) Running water, 24×7. We have a sink in our room, which is really nice if you get something on your hand and don’t want to have to trek to the bathroom and for filling water bottles when you’re in a rush. We also have an oven and stove (though my roommates and I haven’t tried using them yet, so we don’t know if they work, or if the maintenance people have shut off the gas for fear of us burning the place down).

b) I’m steps away from the bathroom and right across from the laundry room. I don’t know if this is true for all dorms, but the common areas (and the lounge is generally one of them) are sort of clustered in the center of the hallway. It’s very nice to not have to lug my laundry hamper all the way up and down the hallway. Another word to the wise, some of the washing machines and dryers take quarters, and other take the laundry cards that you’ll buy when you arrive here. Make sure you have quarters so you don’t have to wait half an hour if the card-operated machine is in use. And, if you’re using the card-operated machines, READ THE INSTRUCTIONS before you stick your card in and press Start. People have had all of the money taken off their cards because they didn’t read the instructions, and you don’t get it back.

To make a long story short, living in a floor lounge has its pros and cons, but you just have to go with the flow and adapt.

Things to bring:

a) An ethernet cable, preferably a long one. Don’t forget this! A lot of people just assume the dorms have wifi, but they don’t. The length is vital if you’re living in a lounge, because there are only two Internet ports by my roommate’s bed. Guess where the other two are? In the closet. So right now, my cord is stretching all the way across the room.

b) A fan, if you’re living in a dorm without air-conditioning, like I am. It isn’t hot for that long, honestly, but it can get very, very hot (especially in Westerlin) and you NEED a fan.

That’s it for now. Keep reading some time next week for handy-dandy (yes, I just used that word) tips on life at Augustana.

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