The stress of housing at Augustana College

Taylor Roth

The 2022-23 school year is nearing its end at Augustana, and with that comes figuring out housing for the next term. First-Years and sophomores are getting ready to fill out housing applications, and while there are videos showcasing how to do so, it can still be challenging and stressful. 

Students have different options of where they’d live for the next upcoming year, with Swanson Commons, Erickson and transitional living areas (TLAs). Naturally, some dorm buildings are more desirable than others, but there is no guarantee that you’ll live in that dorm.

Augustana has housing applications in place for students to have a more fair chance of selecting their new living space. Each year, First-Years and sophomores receive an email from the office of residential life informing them of their housing registration time and what day to register. Each person in the group receives a different time to sign-up, and the earliest time registers for everyone in the group. This gives groups a higher chance of getting the most desired living space.

Sometimes students say that the sign-ups are confusing even with the instructional videos, and having experienced some of it for the past two years, there is some agreement. Signing up for a house for junior year was more stressful than during sophomore year, with there being not as many houses that students wanted to live in. But only some seem to think that. 

“The application for housing was not difficult. It was pretty much straightforward questions about likes and dislikes,” said First-Year Ariadna Escobar. 

Escobar mentioned that Augustana could change some things: “make it shorter, condensed questions.”

Signing up for a new place to live is stressful. This is because of how competitive it feels to try and find a place before everything fills up, as well as wanting to live in a particular option. Housing applications seem similar to course sign-ups, giving students a designated time to register and hoping that the courses they need don’t fill up by their registration time. 

A way for Augustana to make this process easier is to make the signup for housing more understandable and convenient. When students get their registration time, they will have a better chance of securing the living space they want. 

Another way to make the process easier would be providing more information about living spaces. While Augustana does provide a short list of information about TLAs, this information is limited and does not include a floor plan or amenities. Another option would be asking students who have already gone through the process to show others who haven’t done it and explain it. 

Finding a new place to live is stressful, and with students having to prioritize classes, it’s not a wonder how some of them find housing selection difficult and have a hard time understanding what they need to do.