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So You Want To Get A Single: Advice For The Antisocial

Ahh, yes, the elusive single. Need your private time? Scarred by getting sexiled in Carman? Internal editor and proud resident of a McBain single Zoe Sottile tells you how it’s done.

Strangely, at Columbia, it actually tends to be easier for first-years to get singles than other students. The abundance of single options in Furnald, John Jay, and the LLC make getting your own room freshman year relatively easy. But trying to recreate the ambiance of your John Jay single your sophomore year can be tough. Bwog lays out the best ways for CC and SEAS students to game the housing lottery for the 100 sq. foot bachelor pad of your dreams.

For Rising Sophomores

Sophomores are often discouraged from trying to get singles. But the truth is, there are options out there – you just have to weigh what’s important to you. If you’re registered as an individual for Online Selection, you’ll most likely be picking into a single in a corridor-style building. Most sophomores who want singles end up in Wien. Wien gets a bad rap, maybe for its ultra-thin walls and lack of AC. But basically, every room has its own sink! These are SPECIAL singles, you guys, and they tend to be relatively big at around 120 sq. ft.

Your next best bet is Harmony Hall. Pros: you get to pretend you’re in a Vampire Weekend song! Cons: it’s far from campus and some of the singles run reeeeally small. Think 80 sq. ft.

After that, your options get more elusive. Singles in Furnald, McBain, Schapiro, Nuss, and Broadway are all great options for students who want their own space. That means that they go fast and rising sophomores are going to need a killer lottery number.

The other way to sneak a single is to register in a larger group for in-person selection. Especially if you’re registered in a larger group, you may be able to secure a single in a large suite. The prime dorms for this option are the 7-person suites in 47 Claremont and 8-person suites in Carlton Arms, This requires teamwork and some careful negotiation with your housing group to figure out who gets the sexy sexy single.

For Rising Juniors

For rising juniors, the housing lottery gets a little bit more generous. If you’re registered as an individual for Online Selection, you have a solid shot at a big single in a nice building. Lucky ducks with high lottery numbers can look forward to life in Broadway, Schapiro or River. Those not so lucky will likely end up in Nuss, Harmony, McBain, or Wien.

If you’re trying to get a single in a suite, consider Ruggles and 47 Claremont. Rising juniors tend to take up the 8-person suites and some of the 6-person suites in Ruggles. The 8-person suites and the 6-person suites both have two singles each. There’s one 5-person and one 6-person suite in Claremont, both of which have a few singles and usually go to juniors. The 7-person suites have three singles as well. Lucky juniors may get one of the four-person suites, which are all singles.

For Rising Seniors

Ahh, seniors! Your time has come. Solitary seniors are basically guaranteed a good single if they want it. The cream of the crop are the studio singles in Watt and big singles with a river view in River. Less lucky folks can still look forward to the singles in Broadway, Schapiro, and River mentioned above.

If you have a solid housing group and are intent on a single, try for Hogan, Ruggles, an East Campus townhouse or highrise, or 47 Claremont. Hogan is all singles in suites of four, five, or six. Ruggles has four-person suites with big singles for seniors. EC townhouses have biiiig singles, and all except the 6-person suites are all singles. Damn. Highrises have all single suites for groups of five and six. And finally, seniors who want some distance from campus can get all-single suites in Claremont in groups of three or four.


Though the application cycle for this year has already ended, forward-thinking students may want to consider applying to the Living and Learning Center. Upperclassmen especially are basically guaranteed singles.


NEED a single and also, coincidentally, have a passion for mentoring the youth? Consider applying to be an RA! Again, the deadline’s already passed for this year. But there’s no better way to guarantee a single for you and a friend (called an “RA Rider”).

Good luck singling! Sorry you can’t stay in John Jay forever.

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