Making a Room Common


The Yale housing process is fun–the kind of fun that can make you want to pull your hair out while its happening, but marvel in the goodness of your suitemates when it’s finally over. You’ll think about having weekly study breaks and movie nights but not before you do the hard work of assembling your group.<.p>

The dean of your residential college typically sorts you into a suite for your first year, but after that, you get to choose who you want to live with. The process of choosing suitemates, assigning suite preferences through the lottery, and picking bedrooms can sometimes put an emotional and social strain on the already busy lives of Yale students.

It gets a little tricky because you might be best friends with Peter, but you also know that Peter snores like an elephant, but you also don’t want to hurt Peter’s feelings by telling him that you don’t want to live with him. You also know that Jessica cleans when she gets stressed, which could be a great thing for the state of your common room, but you would also like to pull your own weight in the suite dynamic. How do you balance it all??! How do you get to the part where you peacefully co-habitate a space and make tea together and know each other’s sleep schedules by heart?

My lovely suitemates

My suite formed pretty haphazardly and I’m pretty excited about how it turned out. When it came time to figure out who to live with for sophomore year, one of my closest friends and I decided to be roommates. One of her suitemates from her first-year suite joined our group, and so did a teammate of his. Two more of our friends needed to join a group as well and thus our suite was made! Because our suite is populated so diversely, we get along really well. So, here’s one of the best parts of living in a suite at Yale—your common room and decorating it.

Last year I lived in Vanderbilt Hall, where our bedrooms were quite small. My three suitemates and I put our desks in the common room, where we shared many a late-night study session. This year, living in Saybrook College, our desks are staying inside our bedrooms, leaving the common room open for hanging out, jamming, and the like. 

Books on books


A musical suite

Our mantel is my favorite part of our common room. Mirroring that is our flag wall with flags from all of our home states/countries—two of us are from the UK, two from the (American) South, and one from either coast. We consist of three males and three females, three varsity athletes and three ~recreational~ athletes, three avid coffee drinkers and one tea loyalist. Some things you wouldn’t expect: In addition to being a varsity rower and a fantastic suitemate, Noah can also play basically any song on the piano by ear. Cade can do more pullups in one go than I have ever done in my life, and Stella knows an overwhelmingly comprehensive repertoire of country music (ask her about it if you’ve got an hour or two to spare). We also have a 1000 piece puzzle that I thought would be a nice bonding activity. Though we’ve only completed about 5% of it, we’ve become good friends nonetheless! We also like to take wholesome self-timer photos.

silly suitemates
What more could you ask for?

Will we finish this puzzle by the end of the semester…