Campus Cribs: the solo suite

The first thing I noticed coming into the first floor suite of Carter was loud music blasting from the common room. All of the doors in the hallway are shut except for one, which opened into a typical Greylock single. I knocked on various rooms, looking for Apoorva Lal ’15, before remembering that he has the entire suite to himself. It so happens that all of Lal’s suitemates are studying abroad during the spring semester, which leaves him with a common room completely to himself, in addition to his own bedroom. His situation is enviable, especially when I find him lounging comfortably at a table in the common room, music pounding from enormous speakers and his things scattered throughout the room. The first thing I learn from Lal is that he has not been living like this for the whole school year: “It was actually a completely random decision. I was in Dodd [Neighborhood, Hubble House] during fall semester, and my roommate’s work habits didn’t quite match with mine so I decided to move out and get a single.” After doing some research, Lal found a suite that was completely empty, and he decided to take it. “I think I got very lucky this time.” The advantages of living alone with this much space abound, particularly for Lal, as he finds that his work habits tend to be incompatible with most people. “I can do work at three in the morning with music blasting,” he said with a smile, “and there’s the additional liberty of being as messy as you want without people screaming at you. I can play loud music. I can practice my guitar whenever I want. It’s fantastic.” On the topic of loud music, I asked Lal about the enormous speakers he has on either side of his table. They’re between two-and-a-half and three feet tall, and they’re certainly not something you see too often in dorm rooms at the College. “They’re from a friend. He found them in the physics department storage, and he gave them to me because he graduated after the fall. I use them a lot,” Lal said. I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t. “I actually don’t really have a lot of parties in here,” he admitted. “It’s a big space, but it’s not big enough for people to jump around in. I have friends over to just hang out, but I haven’t actually thrown a party. I might do it some time. I don’t know.” The suite does seem like the perfect place to relax, and as I looked around, I noticed that the walls are relatively bare, except for a Jimi Hendrix poster hanging between his speakers. It’s surrounded by an intricate drawing of flowers in blue and white. “The previous inhabitants of this suite had done all that awesome art on the wall,” Lal said. “I was pleasantly surprised. It looked quite nice, so I put the poster there.” The flowers frame the poster nicely, and as I examine it, Lal explained to me how he uses the whole space. “My basic idea was that my room’s for sleeping and the common room is for everything else. My room has my bed, and my study table is there,” Lal said. “Everything else, like playing music or making coffee, practicing guitar, eating, all of that is in the common room.” Accordingly, the common room looks like an extension of his room. Despite all of the advantages that come with having such a large space to oneself, I still wonder whether it might get lonely. Lal, however, assured me that it’s not that bad at all, at least for him. “I’m a fairly reserved person, so I don’t need to be surrounded by people all the time. I actually like a certain degree of isolation, so I think this is pretty good for me,” he said. “In general, I don’t see any disadvantages.” And does he feel like he could handle living in a double next year? “I hope I never end up in a double,” he said decisively. “I tried it sophomore year, and I just realized my work habits are way too strange for people. I don’t like sharing space. This is my ideal situation.” Ideal, but very rare, and one can’t help but wonder what his plans for next year are. “I will probably never get a housing situation as good as this, so I’ll be going downhill from here,” he laughed. “I might be studying abroad in the fall, so I’ll just have to wait for spring when I’ll do some more research and hopefully find something like this again.” At least, he said, he plans on staying in Greylock and finding a bigger single. Before I left, I made sure to ask him if he had any advice for first-years who have been spoiled with a single at Mission. “If you move from a single in Mission to a double with someone you think you know very well, you might [realize you do] not,” he said. “It can be a little bit difficult to adjust.” But it certainly would not be too difficult to adjust to a suite of your own, just as Lal did this semester.

One comment

  1. Qué buen artículo!!! Me encanta la habitación, el espacio grande, la guitarra, la iluminación y el poster de Jimi Hendrix entre los parlantes!!! Me encantaría que mi cuarto fuera así, con esa onda! Se transmite a través de tu artículo, el clima y ambientación del lugar done vive Lal!! Juan, primo de Claudia

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