How to get 'OK' housing your second year


Humor columnist Eshaan Sarup breaks down some best practices for the second year housing search.

Emma Klein | Cavalier Daily

Oh, to be a first-year. Waking up at 8:50 a.m. for your 9 a.m. Swiping into dining halls six times a day. Living in a hall with a bunch of cool, new people. Not having your own bathroom. Spending time with your roommate who sounded cool over Facebook Messenger and claimed to be “moderately clean” but spreads his dirty clothes all over the room. Hiding your shenanigans from your RA. I get it — right now, you want to live in your dorm for all four years. But unless you want to sacrifice your sanity and apply to be an RA, you’re going to have to find somewhere else to live. Lucky for you, I’m about to walk you through the trials and terrors of finding housing at U.Va.!

Finding a roommate and dating are very similar — your first time is never the best, there’s the awkward getting-to-know you phase, and neither one of you wants to make the first move and pop the big question, “Will you be my roommate?” It’s even worse this year — you’re trying to date up to 4 people! Where do you even start? That kid in your STAT 2120 class who cracked a decent joke one time? That super friendly guy you dap up every time you run into even though — super embarrassing — you completely forgot their name? 

You could go with one of your hallmates, but what if their current roommate seeks revenge after you steal their man? Whatever route you go, make sure you ask the IMPORTANT questions this time. No more of this “Are you a morning person or an evening person?” nonsense or asking for their favorite TV show (85% chance they say The Office anyways). Get straight to the nitty gritty — will you eat my food without asking? Will you play your music out loud or use headphones like a normal person? And — most importantly — do you snore? 

Choosing between on-Grounds and off-Grounds housing is like asking whether you’d rather be shot or poisoned. For those who like to gamble, on-Grounds may be the choice for you. If you get lucky, you could get Bond — the newest building, in the best location, which only has a MINOR rodent problem right now. If you strike out, you’ll be stuck with either Bice — whose smell will remind you of the good old days of middle school gym — or Lambeth Commons, good luck asking anybody to make the trek to visit you. You could always try for one of the language houses, too! Immersion has been proven to be the best way to learn any language, but you’ll probably wish your high school Spanish teacher had taught you how to say “We’re out of toilet paper.” 

But — and an institution with an endowment of just $9.5 billion deserves to be proud of this —  ALL on-Grounds housing comes with air conditioning! Well, unless you live on the Lawn, but you’ll be too busy mingling with other pretentious — I mean prestigious — students and chopping firewood for the winter to notice anyways. 

Then there’s the route that yours truly went — off-Grounds housing. For those who want “more freedom” like drinking without the fear of getting caught by your RA and dealing with crabby landlords firsthand. 

If you’re sick of spending your nights at the library and want somewhere quiet to work, JPA is the place to go. The only *small* drawback is that you’re isolated from literally everything fun, are basically screwed if you miss your bus in the morning and are 100 percent on your own when it comes to any maintenance issue! But hey, unclogging your sink at 2 in the morning builds character!

If you want to be close to both bars and classes — if you even go to those anymore — the Corner is where it's at. Plus, if you’re an international student, I’m pretty sure you’re legally obligated to live in The Standard. There’s plenty of luxury apartments that come with everything you could expect — flat screen TVs, full gyms, super-fast Wi-Fi, vomit-filled hallways, littered Busch light and White Claw cans and deafening music from Thursday to Sunday. But let's be honest, if you’re living on the Corner, you’re probably contributing to this.

While housing can definitely be a big problem at U.Va., we really can’t complain. Do we really expect a premiere institution to concern itself with trivial matters and provide its students quality housing or improve its dining halls? What is this, Virginia Tech? Besides, President Ryan is a BUSY man — we can’t honestly expect him to sacrifice his Thursday morning runs for this!

Eshaan Sarup is a Humor Columnist at The Cavalier Daily. He can be reached at

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