A rising sophomore confesses her love for the residence hall everyone hates.

Dear McBain Hall,

I know we haven’t met yet, but I can’t keep my love bottled up any longer. When I first saw your name on the list of housing options for next year, the choice was over. There’s no doubt about it. I wouldn’t want to live in any other dorm for an entire year. What I’m trying to say is: I pick you, McBain.

Everyone tells me I can’t possibly have feelings for you. You’re McBain, and I’m a Columbia student. It’s forbidden love. But I truly think that every sophomore that has ever lived in your hallowed halls has simply misunderstood you. I mean, I attended a housing informational session last week and heard nothing but praise for your charming personality and interior design. Those silly sophomores just don’t get you, ya know? They can’t see your style, your beauty, your flair. Not like I can.

To be clear, I’ve heard the rumors about you, but I still can’t find your flaws. Everything they say about you is music to my ears. Let me start with this complaint about your lack of hot water. Darling, the only thing that’s lacking is your residents’ senses! Your water mood swings are completely normal. Everyone has bad days, so what right do we have to judge you for them? I understand that you have rough days where you simply lack the energy to keep pumping hot water. We all can relate, but some students cannot seem to empathize. Don’t worry, though, McBain. I’m on your side.

I’ve also heard complaints about your thin walls, but again, I don’t see the issue. Don’t we all love to eavesdrop? Besides, I see your true motive. Those thin walls of yours are only meant to bring residents closer together, to bridge that gap between floormates and friends. Thanks to you, residents can hear all about their next-door neighbors’ music tastes, movie interests, and deepest darkest secrets shared over FaceTime with hometown friends. It’s a much more efficient get-to-know-you than anything an RA could come up with! Your choice of wall material was certainly intentional. This whole time, you were focused on your residents, a truly selfless act. I see the truth. I see the real you. And the real you is beautiful. 

And why is there so much hate for your shaft rooms? The shaft is your greatest feature, for it offers the greatest bonding experience of all. Instead of closing their blinds and sulking in darkness, your residents should be thankful for the opportunity to meet more people in their shaft rooms—throw open their windows, wave to their new friends, and shout with joy for their blessed AC. As for the shaft itself, McBain, don’t be ashamed of this “defect.” I, for one, think it lends to your uniqueness. You stand out from the rest of the competition because of your one-of-a-kind design. Don’t listen to all of your current and former residents. Beauty comes from within, just like your shaft. 

In short, McBain, I don’t care what my friends think of you. I don’t care that every upperclassman consistently tells me to run as far away from you as possible. I am drawn to you, and I won’t fight it any longer. You are my love, my life, my number one pick in the housing lottery. Won’t you save room in your halls for my roommate and I? All I ask is that you take care of me and reciprocate my love.

I trust you with my housing. Can I trust you with my heart? 

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