Dorm Assignments: An Unexpected Win

Author: Andrew Rabbitt

Where would I spend my next four years? Who would my friends be? Who would my roommates be? After doing my research I decided I would be content with any dorm...except for Carroll. I had heard the legends, and I didn’t want to be isolated from campus, separated by a seemingly endless lake.

Yet, much to my initial disappointment, I was assigned to Carroll Hall. Of course, leave it to my luck. I’d be content with almost any dorm, yet I get assigned to the one dorm that is practically off campus. As a second-generation Domer, my family assured me I would love Carroll. I remained hesitant, would I be able to make friends beyond Carroll? Would I be content with a longer-than-average walk to class?

These questions remained with me until move-in day.

Upon arriving, I was greeted in an all-out hurrah. My rector welcomed me with open arms. The sophomores talked continuously about their love for Carroll: the community, the people, even the location. As soon as I moved in, I too began to understand the unique charisma and community of Carroll. My three roommates and I became friends almost immediately.  I liked almost all 40 of the freshmen. My love for Carroll began to grow as my freshman year progressed and by the year's end, I was Carroll’s number one supporter and defender.

Today, as a sophomore, I can’t explain how thankful I am for Carroll Hall. Thank God for random roommate and dorm assignments. Perhaps, the best thing about Carroll is the unparalleled community. Regardless of your background, childhood, or home, all are most welcome. My time at Notre Dame (thus far) has been grounded by my friendships in Carroll. I live amongst some of my best friends at Notre Dame and one of my freshman roommates is still my current roommate. I will never forget the time I lost a bet and had to jump in St. Mary’s lake or the time Carroll Hall won its first ever intramural tennis match (last week no less).

All my initial fears about Carroll have proven unfounded. Surprisingly, I thoroughly enjoy the walk to campus every day. The walk by the lake serves as a time to reflect on my day and destress from the demands of classes and activities. Perhaps even more surprisingly, Carroll is an integral part of Notre Dame. Every person knows Carroll for its stellar location and even better residents. Despite its location, I’ve met friends throughout campus: Lewis, Lyons, Cavanaugh, Siegfried, and Knott among others.

The random assignment of dorms and roommates can be daunting. The idea of a computer determining your friends and Notre Dame family may seem weird, yet every Notre Dame student will tell you they absolutely love their dorm. With the randomization, I become friends with people I ordinarily wouldn’t encounter and have met people from across the United States and the world. My freshman roommates were from Ghana, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Our unique background provided tons of conversation topics, and we learned immensely about our differing perspectives, lives and backgrounds.

Almost every Notre Dame student will tell you they think their dorm is objectively the best dorm on campus. Sure, some may be newer or closer to campus, but every dorm has its unique community and traditions. Each dorm has signature events. Carroll has Carroll Christmas and Lakeside and Fisher has the regatta. Regardless of where you end up, your dorm and dormmates will become some of your greatest friends at Notre Dame. Though other dorms aren’t Carroll Hall, they too have their own welcoming communities and traditions.