Required Reading 2018
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Maddie O'Brien CC'16 John Jay single

Housing registration can be stressful as you try to piece together what vibe or social scene each first-year dorm provides. If you scrambling to find upperclassmen you know to get the scoop on the dorms, you’ve come to the right place. Spectrum will introduce you to the stereotypes of every single Barnumbia first-year dorm, so rest assured!


The first year Barnumbia experience is not complete without crowded, sweaty parties in dimly lit Carman suites, which usually feature two doubles and a shared bathroom. Every weekend night, you will almost always find a group of people gathered in front of Carman, catching up and getting ready for the next move. Carman is famous for its lively, rowdy, but respectful social scene The upper floors of Carman was recently renovated, so if you end up on floor eleven to thirteen, you are in for a great view and sparkling new rooms. Moreover, Ferris Dining Hall and Lerner Hall, the student center, are just a few steps away. If you want to have fun, enjoy parties and gatherings with friends, and don’t mind a little bit of noise in exchange, Carman is the choice for you.

John Jay

Consisting of mostly singles and a few gender-neutral single-use bathrooms per floor lining long, narrow hallways, John Jay offers the perfect balance between community and privacy. Not only can you enjoy the comfort of having a room all to yourself, one of the biggest perks of living in John Jay is that you don’t even need to change out of your pajamas in order to go to a dining hall, as the building houses both John Jay Dining Hall and JJ’s, where you can fulfill all your comfort food cravings. This perk really comes in clutch during New York winters, which can get very snowy and last forever. So, if you want to live in a single and cares a lot about your proximity to dining halls, John Jay is where you belong.


While Furnald is widely known as the least social of the first-year dorms, it has great facilities and provides a quiet, intimate vibe on Columbia campus. It’s a corridor-style dorm with both singles and doubles available to both first-years and sophomores. Therefore, Furnald is a great place to live if you want to mingle with more than just first-years. Plus,it has a shared kitchen every floor. Furnald will be perfect for those of you who seek a quieter, cleaner living space.

LLC (Wallach & Hartley)

The Living-Learning Center, which consists of large suites with shared kitchens and bathrooms, is unique among the first-year housing options in that it is open to students from any class, making it the only option for first-years who are eager to live with upperclassmen. The LLC is also great for those who want to cook more during their first year in college.

Each dorm has its distinct, unique culture and atmosphere and regardless of where you end up, your first year will not be defined by your dorm’s stereotypes. In fact, I myself was placed into a dorm that was not my first choice, and I still loved my first year. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Make your dorm your home and find your community, and your first year will be all you can dream of!

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