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  • Anne Petrova

First-Year Dorms Make First Impressions

As soon-to-be-first-years leave for the college for the first time in their lives, the list of what to bring to the college seems to encompass the entirety of their rooms. Only so many things can fit in backpacks, suitcases, and the back of the car - what has a place in the new stages of their lives?

And when people are in their dorms, what of those things do they put on display? Who do you want to be in college? Who do you want to represent? How do you make the space your own?

To answer all those burning questions, I took pictures of six first-years’ dorms at Hamilton. They’re making, even if only temporarily, a home for themselves in the new community, even if they're given a rough canvas to start with.

How does the community form around the living spaces in Hamilton and how do people bring themselves into those spaces?

Each of the following photographs was annotated by the resident of the room, in hopes to not simply show the space, but see it as they see it.

Zoe Chamberlain ’27 in her dorm room full of arts and crafts, plants, and sports stuff.

Anna Totilca ’27 at the table near the entrance to her quad, lovingly dubbed ‘the womb’ by the room’s residents.

Xavier McMahon ‘27’s room demonstrates his passion for justice and (future) world domination.

Dylan Buckser-Schilz ‘27’s dorm with the cozy vibes, obviously due to the lack of the overhead lights.

Henry Millman ’27 on his bed, surrounded by the multitude of his little creations - watercolor paintings.

Brett Hajdaj ‘27 (and Xavier McMahon ‘27) showing that there are truly no barriers to create your own posters.

In visiting different first-years’ dorms, I got to witness a variety of decorations and objects: brought from home, bought here, created somewhere in between. Obviously, there isn’t one answer to how people find belonging on campus. But I like to think that the increase in the decorations in the dorms during this semester doesn’t only mark the progression of time, but also is a part of finding that belonging within a personal space.

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