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Student Voices

Common Questions about UHP Housing

So word has reached me that some of you – particularly the incoming Honors freshmen – are curious about Honors housing. I’ll give you my perspective the subject and hopefully answer some of the questions you may have about living in the Honors dorm!

First, a brief nota bene. I didn’t actually live in Honors housing my Freshman year. I lived in Somers on the Mt. Vernon campus! While I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything in the world (I do love the Vern), I know that there were many times I wished I lived with the other Honors kids instead.  Even though I didn’t live in Lafayette with other UHP Freshmen, I hung out there a LOT and heard a lot of stories about their experiences. These stories help me answer the common questions from students who are considering Honors housing.

Will I be isolated from other students?

No! This is the most common question I hear from incoming freshmen. You will most certainly NOT be isolated from other freshmen. It’s true that you will be both studying and living with many of the same people, but you are in no way sequestered off from the rest of GW. You’re still in a building with hundreds of other non-honors students, who you will run into when doing laundry, cooking dinner, or exploring the other floors. Plus GW offers tons and tons of extracurricular activities in which you will likely meet some of your closest friends. What Honors housing really does is create the “scaffolding” for a close-knit community, but it does not enforce it. Just as you had high school friends outside of your home room, AP/IB, or sports team, you will have friends and opportunities outside of the UHP living community.

Will dorm life be any different for me?

Possibly. Each dorm – from Clark all the way to Thurston – is different. The number and type of students living there affects the nature of life in that dorm.  I remember on the Vern that Clark was the “dinner night” dorm, and Somers was the poker dorm, just because a large number of students preferred doing those activities together. Obviously having a large group of Honors students in one place is going to create different living conditions than a large group of basketball players.

The biggest difference between living with UHP students and living with other GW freshmen is that, in UHP housing, you have more immediate access to your classmates. When it’s time to work on an Origins paper or a science project, you’re right next to your group members. In Honors housing, everyone is working on similar things at similar times. Your schedules are comparable, and you have more class-related things in common with your roomies/neighbors. Naturally that means there will be a few differences between your floor and the other floors in Thurston, BUT as each UHP student is different, you’re just as likely to have an interesting and fun group of people as any other dorm at GW!

What is the Honors Living Community like?

That changes from year to year, but in general it is a fun and studious group of kids who enjoy a LOT of different activities. You’re likely to find that you have more things in common with your neighbor (AP/IB history, classes, hobbies, etc.)  than people on other floors, but there is still an eclectic mix. It’s kind of like a college version of your advanced high school classes! My freshmen year, the honors community was famous for their themed parties. There was a toga night where everyone gathered in the basement to watch 300, and on Passover there was a potluck and screening of “Prince of Egypt”. Your mileage may vary – but it’s safe to say that the Honors community is just as fun, funny, intelligent, and diverse as any other floor; if not more so! You put a bunch of smart college kids together after hours, you never know what’s going to go down…

Honors living may not be the choice for you – that’s totally OK! You’re still going to make friends and have good times no matter where you live. The answers above just point out the general conditions of Honors living, and are not the same for everyone. If you have more questions about Honors housing, feel free to call up the Honors office and ask the students at the front desk.