I tried to research as much as I possibly could before moving to campus my first year at Oregon State University, but it ended up being so much more than I had expected! The following information is based on the two years I spent living in Sackett Hall, one of the honors residence halls.
Here are 5 things I learned while living in a residence hall as an honors student:
1. The space!
Oh, my goodness, there was so much space in the rooms. I was raised with everyone telling tales about how cramped their dorm rooms were when they were in college, and I was fully prepared to walk into Sackett and live in a closet for a year. This wasn’t the case at all, and I walked into a room with two (two!) dressers per person and a separate sleeping porch for our beds.
2. The food.
I lived in the honors hall of Sackett, and that meant I had easy access to West Dining Hall. I basically lived off Serrano Grill’s burritos for a year, and I still hold a soft spot in my heart for their nachos.
3. The people.
I made some of my best friends in the honors wing of Sackett, and I met my current partner in the residence hall. There is a camaraderie that the Honors College fosters that has spilled out of the classroom and permeated the residence halls. I never left my room without saying, “Hi!” to at least a few people on my way out of the building. To bring it back to how much space there is, that doesn’t just apply to the rooms. The lounges on the main floor are so conducive to study sessions and social gatherings! I’ve seen Olympics watch-parties, groups gathering to play games and people just taking naps together during finals week.
4. The activities.
UHDS and the Honors College put on a whole heck of a lot of activities in both honors residence halls, and these activities were super helpful in making friends and getting out of my room. Because they took place in the actual residence halls themselves, it was easy to make time in my busy schedule for them. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming and time-consuming to leave your building and walk across campus for an extracurricular activity, especially during finals week, but the Honors College and UHDS have circumvented that by bringing the activities to you! I’ve had meetings with advisors in Sackett, I’ve gone over to West (the other honors hall) and watched student versus faculty trivia nights, and I’ve had midnight pancake breakfasts in the lounges of Sackett during finals week. All without leaving the honors community! Other residence halls on campus also offer their own unique programming and activities that are open to honors students, providing opportunities to branch out of your own hall, connect with other students and meet people across different OSU communities.
5. The small-town feel.
I’m speaking specifically to my experience as a resident of Sackett, but the design of the building, along with the community it built, really helped me feel like I was at a much smaller university. The wings of Sackett created a more insulated lifestyle than living in a giant block of rooms might, and I really think that’s what made me come back for a second year. I had all of the advantages of being at a large, state university without having to deal with the overwhelming amount of people on campus. The Honors College and UHDS really nailed creating an environment that gives you a safe space to call home while exploring all that the broader OSU community has to offer.
By: Atari Gauthier, Honors College student
Atari Gauthier is a fourth-year English major and an Honors College ambassador. A Pacific Northwest Native, they chose Oregon State for its location, close-knit community and for the opportunity to experience the benefits of the Honors College. Click here to learn more.
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