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Housing Tips & Advice

Summer is approaching faster than you can imagine… which means beautiful weather, hours in the sun and (insert drumroll here) housing applications! Everybody on campus can agree that applying for housing at Stanford can be a confusing and stressful. Not only is there draw group and house ranking drama, but Stanford’s system of random drawings and tiers making housing applications seem like a daunting task, especially for a busy spring student. This article’s general tips on housing will help to lessen your housing worries, for all you amateur (or just confused) applicants!

The first task when deciding where to live next year: deciding whom to live with. This is really the only housing task that you have total control over; everything else will come down to luck — all the more incentive to choose your roommates wisely! As long as you’re with people you get along with, even the worst dorm can be made bearable. When deciding on your draw group, find a group of friends that you like to spend time with. But, more importantly, try to find a group of friends that enjoy a similar lifestyle as you. If you and your best friend have totally different sleeping schedules, study habits or degrees of messiness, it may not be worth ruining your relationship just to live in the same room.

The next major task to consider in the housing process is figuring out which houses, co-ops, self-ops or dorms (oh my!) to rank as your top choices. Make sure to meet with your entire draw group to discuss everybody’s expectations when deciding on a place to live. Talk about things like room arrangements (singles, one-room doubles, two-room doubles), dining options (dining halls, chefs, or a kitchen to cook for yourself) and locations on campus. With a large draw group, this process will be much easier if everybody keeps an open mind and resists the temptation to shut down other people’s ideas. You’re all going to be living together, so get used to making some compromises! Without cooperation, housing can turn out to be a really painful experience.
Next step: submit your application and stop worrying about the results!  The draw will work itself out and even if you get screwed over by a bad draw number, don’t be too upset. Wherever you end up, you will still be with a group of friends, and you can meet new people no matter where you live. Apply for places where you can picture yourself living, and then go with the flow of what happens! Keep in mind that if you don’t end up in your first choice, it’s not the end of the world. All you really have to do in your room is sleep, and even that’s not required!

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