It’s that time of year again; the housing lottery is creeping up on us. Juniors daydream about living on the rooftops, Sophomores venture into Burleith, and freshmen wonder whether their current roommates will want to stick with them, or if that time they were locked out until 6 a.m. signaled the end of the cohabitating relationship. Regardless of class year, most Georgetown students experience some form of stress about housing. I’ve seen friendships break up over housing issues. I have friends who lived in Riggs as sophomores and a townhouse as juniors, and I know people who have been stuck in LXR for the same two years. While some people float easily through the process, it can be extremely frustrating for the rest.

As the years go by, students at Georgetown will probably go through the same problems with housing. But the university has finally given us a solution that will solve a major part of Georgetown’s housing woes. Of course, I am talking about the Southwest Quadrangle and the new dormitories that have been so talked about of late. Four years of guaranteed on-campus housing for every Jane and Joe Hoya, should they so desire it. This comes as good news to most of us undergrads, but since this information was released, I have overheard some freshmen bemoaning their diminished chances of getting an apartment next year. I would like to appeal to any freshmen who might be having mixed feelings about the new housing situation, and explain to them why they ought to celebrate the changes that will take place.

I can understand the feelings of dismay that probably roamed through the halls of New South and Village C when word spread that the new dorm would, in fact, be completed by the fall of 2003, more specifically, what the completion would mean for sophomore housing. Freshmen spend countless hours at parties in Village B and Henle, getting a chance to see what might lie in store for them the next year. They muse over possible four-person combinations that might arise from their floor, and think how cool it would be to have their own kitchen. At least, that’s the way I felt when I was a freshman, and so I was overjoyed when I found out I’d be living in Henle instead of the adjacent and feared Darnall. It must be pretty annoying for freshman to know that in every class above them, roughly half of the sophomores have gotten lucky and ended up in apartments, and their class won’t be offered those same odds. But take it from an off-campus junior: an extra year in a dorm won’t kill you, and it will likely pay off in the end.

There are some benefits to living off-campus. Dealing with landlords and bills prepares you for the real world, when you’ll have to be aggressive in finding living space instead of typing your name in a lottery. And many people prefer it to on-campus living. As for me, I’d take a dorm room any day. My roommate and I look longingly at Darnall as we exit the back of campus on our long trek home. “If only we lived there, we’d be home right now,” she laments. Last weekend, I spent hours locked in my apartment until a locksmith came, which meant another few hours of waiting while he painstakingly took apart my entire lock, which had been installed improperly. Some friends of mine have a rat problem that would strike fear into your heart, and others have a landlord who mysteriously disappeared when a complaint was phoned in about a gas leak.

I have four blocks to walk home once I get to St. Mary’s. It isn’t a marathon run, and maybe not worth complaining about. But I’d still rather walk from ICC to Copley when it’s snowing. Sometimes my sink doesn’t drain, and I have to get it fixed. It isn’t the end of the world. Living off-campus in Georgetown is certainly not one of life’s great trials. But why put up with reality when you can live in a haven of catered fiction for four whole years? Freshmen, you might end up in Village B next year. But if you draw the dreaded Darnall pick, take heart. It might not be where you want to live now, but in a couple of years, you will be deciding whether you’d rather live in a spacious Nevils apartment or a coveted townhouse, and if you so choose, you’ll never have to worry about signing a lease, security deposits, or finding subletters for the summer. Those annoyances can wait until after you graduate. In the meantime, enjoy Georgetown’s newfound abundance of housing. It’s a good thing.

Ashley Fedor is a junior in the College.

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