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The Housing Lottery: The “Hunger Games” of college

Alison Murtagh

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The Housing Lottery. Say these three words to the current sophomore class, and those around you will freeze in their steps. A look of anxiety and fear will flash across their faces, and a shudder may even be sent down their spines.

While the Village, or third-year housing, is a great place to live, not everyone will receive the dream apartment or townhouse they want. Friend groups will have to separate, depending on the time slot they are assigned. Dreams of the perfect apartment overlooking the football field will be crushed, all due to an unlucky draw in the housing lottery.

The lottery system causes stress to all parties involved. As early as September, students begin to make plans for the following year. Many friend groups bank on all six people being able to live together; however, they also know there is a chance that they will have to live in an apartment, and cut two people out of the living arrangement. Oftentimes, this information is not discussed before the lottery numbers are chosen, creating anxiety and fear in the back of people’s minds.

Then, when the time slots are assigned, people are crushed. If one gets a time slot later than nine, chances of a townhouse are slim to none. Townhouses fill up fast—who wouldn’t want to live in a beautiful, three story building, with five of their best friends?

If you are gunning for an apartment, there’s a slightly greater chance you will be able to squeeze yourself into The Village. There are more available, so they do not fill up as fast. However, while the apartments are just as nice as the townhouse, they are not as spacious. So, if you want to hold out for a townhouse–I wish you the best of luck.

Students will begin picking their new homes in April. Tensions will be high, and some people will not be pleased with the outcome. Come 8:00 p.m., sophomores will open their laptops, and the annual Hunger Games will begin.

Surround yourself with chocolate, coffee, and maybe even a good movie–depending on your time slot. Keep your eye on the clock, and set multiple alarms so you don’t miss your registration. Do some jumping jacks to stay active. Stretch your finger muscles so you can type as fast as you can. Maybe even scream a little bit to release some of the built up tension.

So, sophomores, I wish you the best of luck in the housing lottery. In the words of Effie Trinket, “May the odds be ever in your favor.”

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The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University
The Housing Lottery: The “Hunger Games” of college