Dorms Declassified: Lounges


Hello! My name is Alejandra (Ali) Gatas Johnson and I am your Dorms Declassified: Brown Survival Guide blogger. Living in a dorm with a roommate was one of the things that I was most excited but also nervous about for college. This blog is to help ease the concern and provide insight on residential life at Brown.

Roommates can be hit or miss. Hopefully, you are one of the lucky ones that have a great roommate pairing. Unfortunately, roommates don’t always get along. Remember some people have never had to live with someone else and don’t know how to compromise. Sometimes you really want to scream and get space. Luckily, you will most likely get along with some or all of your hallmates. Their rooms are great oases for when you need a quick break. But of course, you don’t want to always be in another person’s room and impose yourself on them. This is where lounges and common spaces come in! 

Lounges are great places for escaping from your roommate, as well as getting out of your room. I know I have a habit of hibernating in my room and not leaving except for classes sometimes (especially when it gets cold!). Every dorm has at least one lounge that has couches, a TV, tables, and chairs. Basically, any furniture needed to watch a movie, do work, or chill.

Last year, I spent oodles of time in the Andrews East lounge. It was a great place to socialize and catch people as they were entering or leaving the building. Every Brown student has access to Philo, an online TV service that streams live and has recording options. With Philo and Netflix you are as good as golden. Sometimes you don’t want to watch on the pocket-size screen of your phone or tablet/iPad or the slightly larger size of your laptop.  If you have an HDMI port on your laptop, you can connect your laptop to the TV and watch on a big screen. I have spent many nights watching movies in the lounge (even marathoning all of the Halloweentown movies) and having a weekly SNL watching party. We also managed to squeeze 30 people into the lounge last year to watch the SuperBowl YAY Broncos!

Lounges are also great for getting work done. There are often times that there is no one in the lounge and so you have the entire space for yourself. The common lounge space is the perfect location for the nights you have to pull all-nighters and don’t want to disturb your roommate. They are also the perfect spaces for taking the phone calls and Facetimes that you want to take when you roommate is napping or needs the room to be quiet.

Of course, there are some drawbacks to lounges. They are a common space after all! There may be people using it and/or the TV when you want to. People can be extremely disgusting and leave food out and what not (Facilities does clean the lounges, but still! Inconsiderate!) Lesson here is to be respectful of the common space and hopefully others will too!

Don’t worry about only having your room to escape to and lounge about in. There are other spaces in the dorm for hanging out and getting work done! Stay tuned for next week!

If you have comments or questions about this column or anything related to Brown, please email me at


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