By Yash Somaiya '20
At St. Albans, we use the phrases “second home” and “brotherhood” to describe our school and its community all the time. However, for about 30 students, five faculty members, three spouses, one writer-in-residence, one toddler, one newborn, and dozens of unwelcome rodents, St. Albans is quite literally a home away from home. Although everyone knows that St. Albans has a dormitory, it’s still an enigma to many students. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of questions that every dormer has been asked many times. Please refer to this whenever you have a question about the dorm.
Where is the dorm? The dorm is on the second and third floors of the Lane-Johnston building. The steps up are right next to the front desk by the admissions office.
What time do you guys wake up? We have to check in to the dorm office in school dress by 7:45 every morning, so you’ll find people waking up as early as 6:30, while others just roll out of bed at 7:40. Each dormer gets a breakfast cut (seniors get two), so we’re still able to sleep in on F days.
When do you guys go to bed? Theoretically, because we don’t have to commute, we should be getting to bed earlier than most. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Whether it’s casually watching two movies on a school night in our rooms, talking in the common room until an unacceptably late hour, or watching Thursday Night Football while holding a book, dormers find a lot of stuff to do other than work. As it is with almost every other student, sleep is a precious commodity in the dorm.
Do you guys have a curfew/lights out? Luckily, we don’t have a lights out time in the dorm. However, there is a curfew, which is when you need to be in your room. On weekdays, it’s 10:30 for freshmen and sophomores, while it’s 11:00 for juniors and seniors. On weekends, it gets pushed back to 11:30 for underclassmen and midnight for upperclassmen.
Do you guys get to leave the dorm? Yeah! As long as we fill a sign-out form and call the Dorm Master on Duty, we can basically go wherever we want, as long as we’re back before curfew. That’s one of the best things about boarding at STA. We have the independence and freedom to take advantage of living in the city, which means we can always get food, hang out, or even just walk in DC.
Do you have a roommate? Traditionally, freshmen and sophomores have roommates, while juniors and seniors get their own rooms.
How big is your room? Frankly, the rooms could be bigger, but they have everything we need: a desk, closet, dresser, and bed. The Dorm Head Prefect, though, lives in the grand “Presidential Suite” of the dorm, espresso machine and all.
Where are all the dormers from? The dorm has an incredibly diverse community. Although a large portion of dormers are from right here in the DMV, we have many international students from Asia and a couple guys from New Jersey. This wide array of backgrounds in the dorm really makes it a diverse, well-balanced experience for all.
How’s the food? It’s just like lunch, except we don’t have family-style meals or assigned seating at dinner. On Saturday nights, though, we all get to order food on the dorm’s budget, which everyone always enjoys.
Do you like the dorm? It certainly has its ups and downs. The dorm probably doesn’t get as much attention from the school as it should, but at the end of the day, the dorm always offers me a community and a home its members can fall back on. Obviously, there are times that the dorm can be strict or times where I feel homesick, but you can say that about anything. The same way we always complain about school on the Close, dormers will always have something to say about the dorm. But what’s better than living with 30 of your best friends?