Congratulations! If you knew what you were doing when you signed up for housing, you made sure to mention your long-standing love of fireplaces and your strong desire to have three roommates. And now you’ve been handed a ticket to two years in Rockefeller College, home to Holder Hall and the Spoon turret rooms and easily the most desired residential college at Princeton. This is Princeton as presented in movies. But actually.
Besides “awesome,” what is it like to live there?
Laundry: Rocky offers basement laundry rooms in Witherspoon, Buyers, Holder and Campbell Halls. Holder Entryway 13, you’re right above the laundry room. If you’re living across the quad, you might find yourself taking a shortcut—and risk exposing yourself to the elements (you know, gently falling leaves)—instead of the long way through the basement. (ETA: No laundry in Campbell! At least not if you’re in Rocky. From Rocky ’14 in the comments: “Campbell’s split up into two sections: the Rocky side and the Mathey side. The Mathey-Campbell side has access to Joline’s laundry rooms through the basement, but the Rocky-Campbell side isn’t connected through the basement. So, unfortunately, no laundry in Rocky Campbell.”)
Kitchens: You can do your lonely Thanksgiving meal preparation or 2 am ramen eating in the basement kitchens of Witherspoon and Holder. The Holder kitchen area is also home to a TV lounge, and its booth-style dining tables are a popular study area. You’ll often find freshmen and sophomores grimly studying at the Witherspoon dining table, which can make cooking kind of awkward. That said, a list of foods I know for a fact have been cooked in Rocky’s kitchens: A stuffed pumpkin, maple syrup snow candy, seitan, and scones. A little tolerance of gross sinks and stains, and anything is possible.
Computers: Holder’s got a cluster of Macs and PCs hidden among its many study rooms, and a Rocky-Mathey cluster is tucked behind the Rocky-Mathey library, right under the dining hall. For video editors and graphic designers looking for some serious technology, the Rocky Media room is located in Holder Hall, entryway 4B.
What’s in the neighborhood: Embrace the term “up-campus snob.” You’re closer to Nassau Street than just about anyone, which means 1 am Starbucks runs are worth it, even in February.
Bugs and pests: Mice. Bats. Squirrels. OK, look, you’re living in a castle—consider it part of the experience.
Library: Though it’s open 24/7, the Rocky-Mathey Library is best enjoyed at around 5:30 pm, when golden sunlight filters through the windows, and everything feels very old and academic. It’s also best enjoyed without: piles of banana peels on the tables, loud conversations, a Dean’s Date workload.
Noise levels/partying: It depends on the year—and who’s living in the best party rooms—but it’s not hard to avoid the noise given the number of study areas around the college. Places you might find a party: Witherspoon’s legendary turret rooms. Places you might not find a party: Substance-free Buyers (though it’s got some two-story rooms.)
What’s on the floor: Hardwood floors. Obviously.
Other perks: You guys, do you know how hard it is to get tickets to see The Book of Mormon? Really super hard. Lucky you, Rocky College Council is running a trip to see the musical on September 23. Other perks include getting to know (and Facebook friend) college master Jeff Nunokawa and knowing that you at least have a chance at landing one of Spoon’s amazing quads–so you know, they’re the suites that end in -03 or -13. (ETA: Make that -17 for the turret rooms, whose turrets make an excellent place for a breakfast table or one of these).
Bathrooms: Hall bathrooms, including some that are basically just a single bathroom—one shower, one toilet, one sink.
What it’ll look like on move-in day:
Honestly, like this:
But also like your Ivy League dreams came true. Your parents will take a million pictures of you in front of your entryway or in the Holder cloisters, where it’s not uncommon to stumble across a photo shoot on your way to dinner. Other people’s parents might sneak in a few pictures too.
The food: Until the other dining halls caught up, Rocky-Mathey was one of the best. That said, it’s also dining hall food, and dining hall food gets old. Fortunately, you’re steps away from Chez Alice, Teresa Caffe, Olives and Massimo’s, so really, you can eat whatever you want. Also, love that mushroom strudel. The best part of the dining hall is that it’s open all night. It’s a great place to pull an all-nighter—available for snacking are leftover dessert, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cereal, milk, and coffee and tea.