Life in an Octosuite

One factor of residence hall life that I wasn’t expecting to experience was living in an octosuite. I met my wonderful roommate, Cydney, on the class of 2020 Facebook page in early January. We were both early-decision students and clicked instantly. As August drew closer we hastily coordinated our decor, making sure our room would be as perfect as any freshman room could be.

When room assignments officially came out, I immediately informed Cydney that our home for the next year was going to be 250 – 250 A. Originally, the letter after the room number was not enough clue me in on the fact that my room was different from what I was expecting. Only once I discovered a picture of the floor plan did I realize that our little room on the end of the hall seemed to have an extra room, almost like a hallway. Another close examination revealed that this hallway was connected to another room – with no door to separate the two.

After a bit of asking around, I found out that I was part of something called an octosuite. This meant Cydney and I would be sharing a bathroom with a pair of suite-mates as usual, and on top of this our room would be connected by a short hallway to another room with two people who in turn would also be connected by a bathroom to a pair of suite-mates. Together we formed an octosuite, something somewhat common in freshman residence halls.

Although I originally felt dismayed at the fact that I’d be sharing my perfect living space with extra people, I discovered after move-in that it was one of the best arrangements I could have been placed in.

As someone who is somewhat introverted and often finds themselves locked in their room writing, studying or watching unhealthy amounts of Netflix, residing in a living space that is very open has resulted in my making more friends and coming out of my comfort zone. My octo-mates Abby and Sarah have kept it lively, even in the dreary weather we’ve been experiencing lately. I know if I’m ever lonely or lacking something to do I have six people other than my own roommate to keep me company.

Another major factor that living in an octosuite has provided is always having access to commodities I may not have in my own room. On a basic level, there’s always the fabulous fact that if I’m running late and one of my suite-mates is in the shower that I can ask my octo-mates to use theirs. Genenrally, though, it comes down to the little things. Sometimes I want iced coffee, and my octo-mates always have ice cubes in their freezer. They also seem to have a limitless supply of food. Another great perk of this is that my octo-mates have a printer in their room. Their generosity in sharing it with us has saved me on more than one occasion over the past two months. Of course this goes both ways – when our suite-mates or octo-mates are lacking something, they’ll stop by to ask if we have it. Since we’re lucky enough to maintain a friendly relationship with all 6 of them, I’ve found that the answer is always yes.

Even though sometimes it can be a little hectic, being part of an octosuite has helped me to venture out, make many new friends and altogether embrace the college experience even more wholeheartedly.

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