Tales of the Housing Lottery: The Best Disaster That Could Have Ever Happened
This post was guest-authored by Katherine Connolly ’17.
May this article provide hope for those who feel hopeless. Also, if you want to talk/rant about housing/stress to someone, I’m a PC—my number is all around campus and on our Facebook page. —Katherine Connolly
I’ve decided that absolutely no one likes the time leading up to the housing lottery. No matter the number, no matter the situation— it’s always stressful until it’s over. There’s an element of uncertainty that just can’t be vanquished until the deed is done.
But once it’s over, if you’ve gotten exactly what you wanted—everything is fine. But if you haven’t—you’re left with this feeling of disappointment and maybe even dread.
If you’re in the latter category, this article’s for you. I want to share my story of the housing lottery, not because I am some kind of Success, or because I think that It Happened To Me, so It’ll Happen To You. Everybody’s different. Not every cloud has a silver lining all the time.
I’m just here to tell you that it might.
The first housing lottery I ever experienced was horrific. It was at the KAC, in the basketball court, and it was hours on hours of utter chaos. My roommate and I had a fairly good number. However, not everyone in our friend-group made out so well. By the end of the process, we were unfortunately split in two, with half of us north, and half of us south.
The two that ended up north were some of the very last people to register in our grade. With the option between 9th floor Wellness in Caples, or a double in Mather, they chose the former. Caples is a fine dorm, but they were nervous, because they were going to be in a suite full of 3 other absolute strangers, all of them guys that they didn’t know.
Fast forward— it’s about a month into sophomore year. My north friends are doing ok—two of the guys are pretty loud, the other is pretty quiet, and their room is extremely small—but they’re hanging in there. They keep to themselves.
Meanwhile, for unrelated reasons, I am depressed out of my mind. I am doing so poorly that it ruins my relationships with my south friends, including my roommate. After spending some quality time on the football field at 2 in the morning in the middle of a lightening storm, I am not-so-gently prompted by the people I love to start looking for alternative living arrangements. A week later, I leave south campus behind forever.
The good news is, I’m in Caples. Inconveniently for me, the open single that was in my friends’ suite has already been taken by another girl, who has also moved out. But I don’t really mind, because 7th floor treats me well. It’s (mostly) quiet. And I am just a few stairs away from 2 of the only friends I have left at Kenyon.
Fast forward another month—this nice kid in my music theory class, who also lives on my floor, comes to my door one night asking if I want to have any fresh, homemade bread. This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Cue Halloween. I am upstairs with my 2 friends, watching YouTubers Dan and Phil play “Five Nights at Freddy’s.” It is utterly terrifying. After letting out what I’m sure was an extremely alarming scream, one of the guys in their suite knocks on the door. “Are you guys okay?” he asks, concerned. We laugh and assure him that we’re fine, we were just watching—
“I have that game! Do you wanna play it?”
Suddenly, we’re all gathered around his computer. His roommate later joins us. We laugh and stay up extremely late playing this game. I share a look with my friends, and I can tell we agree. This is the best night we’ve had at Kenyon so far this year.
After that, my memory is foggy. All I can really tell you is time kept passing, we kept playing video games, we kept reaching out to each other more and more. Soon enough, every single person in that suite was my friend, and we hung out every chance we got.
Half of that group went abroad for the year. However, I still had a lot of good friends around me. Junior year goes, surprisingly, really well. Even with everyone far away, we stay in touch with vlogs on our collaborative YouTube channel, Contact.
Which brings us to this past housing lottery. The last one of our lives. We have a dream of getting an 8 person NCA. A place for us all to be together again, just like the Caples suite, only with windows. A long shot, and none of us expect it to come true, but we figure with us having such terrible housing luck in the past, we’ve built up good karma.
We get the fourth number in the entire pool.
This is a story with one of the happiest endings I can think of. And none of it would have happened if we didn’t have that terrible luck with housing to begin with.
So if you find yourself with the last or next-to-last number in the lottery, and you end up living God knows where with God knows who, try and keep an open mind. You never know, those people might end up being your best friends. It may end up being the best thing that happened to you at Kenyon so far. Again, no guarantees. But it’s not impossible, either.
No matter what happens, I promise you: something, something, good will come out of this.