by Margaret Scales ’23
Although deciding on an off-campus house for senior year as a sophomore is the norm here at Providence College, going against that deadline does not mean students are perpetually doomed. Many might agree that at first glance, putting down a deposit two years in advance seems crazy, so why are so many freshmen and sophmores already accelerating that process by making arrangements during their first semesters at PC?
Come their senior year, many students at the College decide to live on Eaton Street. In the off-campus neighborhood, there is an abundance of houses close together, each with New England-centric or PC-centric names. This coveted area is a dream for most underclassmen as it stands as a social hub on the weekends.
In addition to the exciting anticipation of living on Eaton Street, students are encouraged to put down their deposits on these houses during the first months of their sophomore year, cultivating a lot of stress amongst the buzz.
At PC, the norm of preparing to put this deposit down begs the question: how students are capable of predicting who their senior years friends will be two years in advance? Naturally, people evolve as they grow during their college years and meet new people.
In the second half of students’ four years at the college, it is easy to predict that social circles will change after putting that deposit down early on in sophomore year.
To bring this absurd reality to another level, it has become a common theme amongst the current freshman class, the class of 2023, to already begin planning out their senior year living situations. Given the difficulties that sophomores face when making this decision, it is absolutely ridiculous to imagine making this decision as a freshman who has only attended PC for a mere three months.
Not to discount the existence of many genuine friendships amongst freshmen, but there is something to be said about the prevalence of convenient friendships during the first semester of college. Most students who are thrown into this new environment struggle with making genuine friends and cling onto whoever they can. With this being said, how can someone possibly plan out their senior year living situation based on what may be a group of temporarily convenient friends?
To ease the stress of committing to living with a group of people who might not be a part of your life come senior year, it is important to realize that switching houses in the second half of life at PC is very common. Many students do in fact find different social circles as they grow and evolve here at PC and are able to switch spots with other students in other houses—although deposits are substantial, they do not render your future definitive.
Acknowledging the circumstances of transfer students is important—students who begin their lives at PC after the first semester of sophomore year want to live on Eaton Street too. Transfer students are a perfect example of why going against the norm of deciding on senior year housing at the beginning of sophomore year is not only okay but can also create some of the most ideal living situations.
For example, Jocelyn Fields ’21, who transferred to the college as a second semester-sophomore, states, “A group of six girls, who had chosen to live in a 10-person house, had four students choose to leave their house and asked myself and three other friends if we would be willing to sign on.” Occurrences like these are not out of the ordinary, proving it is possible to coordinate a successful senior year living situation after that first week of sophomore year.
Considering Fields’ house-hunting success as a transfer student, it is easy to say that it does in fact all seem to work out in the end in respect to figuring out senior year living. With this being said, do not worry about what happened at the start of sophomore year, let alone the first semester of freshman year—life on Eaton Street will come.