You’re moving onto Georgetown University’s campus for the first time in your life. Questions abound. Will you have a cool roommate? Are the bathrooms really as bad as people keep saying on the Facebook group? Where will you store your archived copies of The Hoya? Unfortunately, having a cool roommate is something we cannot guarantee. But the other necessities we can assure you you’ll find in varying degrees of satisfaction in each of the four freshman residence halls on campus. As new students, you will most likely be living in one of them —Village C, Harbin Hall, New South Hall or Darnall Hall. Although all freshman residence halls at Georgetown have at least one chaplain-in-residence as well as one resident advisor per floor, each dorm comes with its own unique layouts, amenities and floor culture. Here’s a rundown of what to expect.
Split into two wings, the all-freshman West wing and the freshmen-transfer-upperclassmen East wing, Village C is the only residence hall on this list with private bathrooms — an attractive offer, if you happen to be a germophobe and the thought of communal showers gives you hives. The tradeoff is that Village C rooms run smaller than small, distributed evenly among doubles and a few rare singles. The floors are moderately sized, with around 30 to 40 students each. Nearby, you’ll find easy access to O’Donovan Hall (better know as Leo’s), Dahlgren Quadrangle, the Healey Family Student Center and the wind tunnel leading to Cooper Field. Life in Village C can be closed-off compared to other dorms, given its relatively small floors, but this often fosters tight-knit floor friendships. VCW is also home to a living learning community – a floor dedicated to a theme and a great way to meet like-minded individuals. Its position on campus and its bathroom situation make it one of the more sought-after residence options on campus, even if the selection process is random.
Harbin is a different story. President Bill Clinton lived in Harbin in 1965, which is an interesting piece of history yet also a testament to the building’s age. You’ll notice it pretty easily. Harbin is the only freshman residence hall on campus with its double rooms arranged in clusters according to gender, which are nests of eight or nine same-gender rooms throughout its spiraling hallways. You’ll find some of the closest friendships from floors and clusters in Harbin due to this unique floor plan. Harbin also houses an all-girls floor, usually its top-most, an option you can request during the housing process. The building’s elevators are among the fastest on campus, an asset considering that the nine-floored dorm is one of the taller buildings. Its student-to-floor ratio is similar to that of Village C, and its location puts it relatively halfway between the Leavey Center and the front lawn, creating a short and manageable walk to most places on campus. The New North staircase leading up from the building’s patio will almost certainly shave minutes off your travel time crossing campus.
As the only freshmen residence hall on the north side of campus, closer to the medical school and the hospital than anything on campus, Darnall Hall gets a bad rep. You’ll hear students complaining constantly about the fact that they live there, even if they’re afforded easy access to the Leavey Center, the upperclassmen social hub of Henle Village and 24-hour food at Epicurean and Company. Darnall’s location is a virtue and a vice in this way. In terms of its rooms, Darnall is the only residence hall with twin beds instead of twin XL, so plan your Bed, Bath & Beyond shopping spree accordingly. Its floors are slightly larger than that of Harbin, and boast large hallways with a spacious, central common room. Its floors are also fitted with full-length mirrors so you can ensure your classroom and late night outfits are always on point. Darnall has some of the closest communities, created perhaps by its isolation in relation to the rest of the freshmen on campus and the opportunity to take late night conversation downstairs to Epi.
You’ll find the most state school-esque dorm room in New South Hall. With long, straight hallways, almost 100 students per floor, and a reputation as the party dorm, New South makes for a polarizing option. It is almost always loud and, depending on your proximity to the communal bathrooms, may set up some unfortunate encounters, like running into a group of kids on the other side of the building that you’ve never seen before wearing only your towel. New South rooms also feature a sink, mirror and medicine cabinet, which will make your before-bed routine far easier than in any other dorm with communal bathrooms. With so many people on each floor, the residence hall’s social culture can be overwhelming, with large packs of people from each floor usually forming throughout the beginning of freshman year. But don’t be discouraged! For every impossibly friendly social butterfly on your floor, there are five other perfectly friendly individuals trying to figure out the tumultuous first few weeks of college alongside you.