So, what’s it like to live in a dorm? In short: awesome. But that answer depends on the person you ask.
If you ask me, I would say that it’s the most enjoyable part of being a freshman. But I think your overall dorm experience is greatly affected by (in addition to a positive attitude):
1) Your roommate
2) Your floormates and RA
3) Your dorm
I was lucky enough to have had a (randomly chosen) lovely roommate (featured on the right) who became my best friend, and was also assigned an exceptional RA who changed my life. However, neither of these I chose. I just got (remarkably) lucky.
What I did choose was to live in Buckingham, a comfortable dorm nestled between the Kitt Fields where the lacrosse teams practice and you get to enjoy the picturesque Kitt ponds; in the calm and quaint neighborhood of Kittredge, a community of dorms including Kitt Central, Kitt West, the Engineering dorms, the Honors RAP dorm and Buckingham, just to name a few. Kittredge, located past the Fiske Planetarium, is distinctively special because of the tight-knit community, the scenic ponds, and specifically, the talented and caring professors and program coordinators in the RAP programs.
What is a RAP Program, you ask? RAP stands for Residential Academic Program and there are several different kinds of programs offered in Kittredge and other dorms on main campus and in Williams Village. But Kittredge is the heart of these programs. Kitt West is the Health Professions RAP, Arnett is the Global Studies RAP, Smith Hall is the Honors RAP, and Buckingham is the Communications & Society RAP. These are just a few examples of RAP Programs! (See all of them listed here: https://housing.colorado.edu/residences/residential-academic-communities/residential-academic-programs.)
Though it is not required to join a RAP Program, I highly suggest it! The opportunities I received and events I got to attend, the classes I got to take in the comfort of my own dorm, and the friends I made were largely because of my RAP. In the beginning of the year, I wasn’t sure if the Communications RAP would be enjoyable for me, as it is not my major. By the end of the year, I couldn’t believe the significance the Communication RAP had on my life my first year of college, and I wouldn’t want to imagine my year without it!
Some of the events I attended because of my program: pumpkin carving with friends, multiple movie nights and talent shows, a class field trip to downtown Denver to The Denver Post, a lecture from Angela Davis and a hip-hop class from Miss Prissy, just to name a few!
There were themes in the Communication RAP some months—like Black History Month—and there were prizes given out to the students who attended the most events. I always loved the events Buckingham put on, especially the awards ceremony for students who received honorable grades at the end of each semester. Overall, it was tremendously beneficial to bond with my classmates and teachers in a way I had never experienced in high school.
The teachers in Buckingham were superb. We could tell they all genuinely cared for all of their students, and would go to extreme lengths to make sure we all felt comfortable and at home in our dorm. The class sizes were small, so we could have more events. In my first year writing class with Professor Orly (a mom-like figure for us all), she organized a movie night for us to watch the movie we were discussing in class (Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer) and made us dessert. She often brought her dog, who lived in the dorm, into class. My favorite event of the year was when we organized Dogs and Donuts in that class—we rallied dog owners and dog lovers from across the Kittredge community and bought a ton of donuts for the Kittredge community as a social event, all advertised and organized by my class.
Did I mention my classes were literally in my dorm building? We were privileged for certain. I’m not sure college gets any sweeter than that.
Buckingham really became a community of friends for all of us. We all still keep in touch and we secretly miss living in the dorm, where we were all just a door, a hallway or a floor away. A popular saying between all of us to describe our community was “Buckingfam”…