There’s No Place Like Home.

After graduating high school most of us move on to college and a majority of us move out of our homes into new places. For many freshman dorm rooms are the place where their first college memories take place. The chipped wood on the dressers, the hampers filled to the brim with clothes and often two separate design schemes that somehow meet in the middle. The most important thing is that dorm rooms form a community. They offer a quiet oasis in which to study and a group of people to form bonds with on the large campus that is Western Washington University. Kappa is a dorm at Western that lies at the top of a steep hill. The newly remodeled building with its lifeblood of students flowing in and out daily is an incredible community with so many great things to offer.

A dorm like Kappa serves many purposes. The primary purpose is that it puts a roof over your head at night to sleep. The dorm advisers tell you from the start that Westerns purpose is to have it be a place for us to study and work on school related things but it is also a great place to socialize and make friends. The first few weeks they set up activities to make it feel like home and continue with things like monthly dinners together where the floor group feels like a big family. I think that one of the biggest purposes that the dorms serve is creating a sense of community. Across Western’s campus there are several residential areas. The one in which Kappa is located is the Ridge; situated as I said before, atop a large hill. One might think that Kappa’s location would set it apart and make it not really feel like a part of the Western community however the ridge itself which is the group of dorms at the top of the hill is a pretty tight knit community. As children we begin in kindergarten, making friends pretty quickly and easily; we grow up with a pretty similar group of kids and by the time we graduate high school these same kids have become some of our best friends. Moving into the dorms is sort of like that except in college since you’re living together you get to know them on a much deeper level. When you’re applying for university housing next year, I would recommend keeping Kappa at the top of your list. Kappa has a great sense of community and you don’t have to worry about gaining the freshman 15 because you walk up the massive hill a couple times a day. The ridge feels like an alpine village quietly nestled amongst the trees. It has the unique benefit of being cool during warm weather and cozy in the winter.

Every place has its strengths and inevitably some weaknesses. I would say that the most noticeable weakness Kappa has is how thin the walls are. This is not a huge deal unless the people right next to you like to listen to loud music until 2 am and sing at the top of their lungs. If you like that sort of thing then you’ll love these dorms even more. Even if you don’t like people singing that is really easy to avoid.The only other major thing I can think of off the top of my head is that over the summer these dorms were remodeled so the rooms all smell strongly of fresh paint which can make them feel pretty closed in. When my roommate and I first moved in we kept our huge window open 24/7 but in the winter it is too cold to continue that strategy. I came back after a weekend out of town and she had hung 25 air fresheners all around the room. If you find yourself in Kappa dorms next year I would strongly recommend stocking up on air fresheners in case they still smell like paint.

The Kappa dorms are a very nice place to live. They offer far more than the basic necessities of a bed, a desk and a dresser. These dorms offer so much more; they are a home away from home. If you are looking for a place to live but also a community that makes you feel safe and at home then Kappa is definitely the place for you. I hope that the Kappa dorms will continue to grow and develop over time and work it’s way to the top of the priority list for incoming students. Maybe one day the Kappa dorms walls will get fixed and become thick to help with the noise issues. Kappa is a seriously incredible dorm. If you are looking for a place to live on Western Washington Universities campus next year I really hope Kappa will be at the top of your list. Existing in high school is something we’re all used to but college is entirely different game. Finding your place anywhere can be an extremely difficult thing to do, Western makes that process a little bit easier by doing everything in their power to make you feel comfortable. Looking through colleges while trying not to fail your senior year can be an overwhelming task. While you file through 300 different websites looking at which one is the best for you take a look at all the on campus living areas as well. Western Washington University is a big school with a small town vibe. No dorm will ever be just like home but Western makes that transition a little bit less difficult.