Hey 2015! If you’ve been spending your last days of summer freaking out in the shower caddy aisle of the Container Store or worried that you won’t be able to find the washing machines in your dorm, The Ink is here for you. In preparation for your arrival, we’ve compiled reviews of each of the six residential colleges to help give you a better sense of what to expect on the big move-in day.
So here it is: the first installment The Ink’s Residential College Review, in which we examine that much-maligned abode, Forbes College.
Most would argue that Forbes is at once the most hated and most beloved of the residential colleges. Depending on who you talk to, Forbes is either that sad, cinder-blocked building in a distant zip code or, alternatively, the best thing that ever happened to them. For every mainland critic who argues that Forbes is socially removed from the main-campus scene, there are steadfast Forbesians who contend that their residential remoteness actually forges a more “close-knit community.” After two years of living in the 08540, it’s become clear to me that, polarized views aside, Forbes is what you make of it. Here are the facts—we’ll let you be the final judge.
Laundry: There are two laundry rooms, located on the lower levels of the Main Inn and in the Addition. A reasonable number of machines, but there’s often a wait at peak hours (i.e. never, ever attempt to launder on Sunday afternoons).
Kitchens: One kitchen in the Main Inn, one in the Addition. But beware—a tragedy of the commons-type situation developed this past year, which involved mountains of unwashed pots and pans, increasingly threatening e-mails from college administrators, and ultimately, a lock on the door.
Computers: There’s a cluster with about a dozen computers in the basement of the Main Inn. And one (cross-your-fingers, maybe, just maybe) functioning printer.
What’s in the neighborhood: You might be a million-and-a-half miles from anyone else on campus, but you’re only mere strides from the ever-open Wa. (keep an eye out for study breaks here featuring free (!) hoagies)
Bugs and pests: They’re definitely around. Stink bugs on the ground floors were particularly persistent this past year and friends on higher floors have reported occasional ant guests.
Library: Oh, the Forbes Library. An underground, bunker-like den featuring yellowing, 70’s furniture, this place is usually home to the toe-tapping, Red Bull-chugging, TI-89-wielding type. But if you’ve really gotta focus, there is very, very little in this room to distract you.
Noise levels/partying: It’s not the easiest to get your main-campus friends to make the trek out to your room on a weekend night, so except for the occasional room party, it’s quiet.
What’s on the floor: Rooms and hallways are carpeted in the Main Inn. Linoleum in nearly all of the rooms in the Addition/Annex.
Other perks: A student-run garden project, black box theater, music practice rooms, dance studio, amazingly awkward elevator conversations in the Main Inn, ping pong and pool tables.
Bathrooms: There are legendary personal bathrooms located throughout the Main Inn and in a few spots in the Addition/Annex. Otherwise, hall bathrooms.
What it’ll look like on move-in day:
The Main Inn portion of Forbes still retains some of the perks from its former days as the Princeton Inn: a beautiful lounge, carpeted floors and a pretty swanky facade. And if you’re lucky enough to get a room in the Main Inn with windows on the western side, you’ll have great views of the terrace, a neighboring golf course and the Grad College.
The Addition and Annex rooms down the hill will probably never be mistaken for a former inn. Graduate architecture students actually spend their first weeks at Princeton redesigning these dorms for their first project. In the meantime, if you’ll be living here, invest in some super-strength sticky tack to cover those cinderblock walls with something a little less depressing.
In those horribly cold weeks of January and February, having your dining hall under the same roof as your room does make the idea of getting out of bed a little easier. Less awesome consequence: a large percentage of Forbesians simply refuse to change out of their pajamas for the season. And that legendary Sunday brunch you’ve heard about? Probably overrated, especially now that other dining halls have their own chocolate fountains. But monthly vegetarian dinners are definitely worth showing up for. So are the occasional special Wednesday night dinners–sometimes featuring sushi! (if only for five minutes)
(floor plan image source: http://www.princeton.edu/forbescollege)