Every year, students are subjected to the greatest stressor of the modern college era. Outside of finals, tuition costs, financial aid, grade point averages, procrastination, lack of sleep, impending debt, the fear of catastrophic failure after graduating and worst of all, sleeping in too late on a Saturday and realizing that the omelette line is no longer open, there is the impending dread of figuring out the next year’s living situation.

People put a lot of effort towards ensuring that their roommates are carefully selected. Every residence hall has its own personality and influence, even before being occupied. In many cases, students won’t know if they’ve made the right choice or not until the time to change is long gone. For this reason, I’m looking deeper into the residence halls of SNHU to get a feel for the personality, impact and experience of each one.

I’ve decided to begin by looking at Monadnock for my first post. Monadnock is the new, shiny building that so boldly went with an architect’s suggestion of combining horizontally striped stone with vertically striped metal.

Monadnock is an impressive, appealing building that beautifully ties together many different building materials inside and out, but while its looks are worth praising, the building itself falls short of greatness in several areas.

It is a lot like a beautiful person that everyone talks about and wants to meet, but ultimately has little more to offer than good looks and the ability to have fun on the weekend. It’s a fair place to live, but its desirability is certainly boosted by its age and lack of weathering from unpredictable college shenanigans. The weathering could soon be seen, however, because Monadnock is a highly energetic hub of socialization and letting loose.

With the west side apartments being torn down and the townhouses in the shadows of construction, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) has been at a point where there is a shortage of places for parties and spontaneous social gatherings. With slightly more spacious living areas than other residence halls, as well as no shortage of options, Monadnock has, in a way, stepped in to fill the void. The weekend scene there is arguably one of the most notable ways that it has impacted campus life. Regardless, the shoes of past halls have yet to be adequately filled.  

Residents of Monadnock know that it’s the kind of place where you will see the logic behind some things, and then be left scratching your head at others. The apartments and everything in them is easy to clean, storage space is plentiful, the bathrooms are intelligently laid out and the main areas are spaced out enough for flexible living arrangements. Best of all, you get a couch that fits a real human being so if a friend needs to crash, or you say the wrong thing to your partner and get kicked out of their bed, a decent night’s sleep awaits you on your three-cushion living room sofa.

On the other hand, you have very little control over your living space. Students finding themselves in Monadnock in the early fall semester will quickly discover what going to school in the south would have been like because the lack of air conditioning makes the experience quite uncomfortable. This holds especially true for the upper levels due to an absence of insulation separating each floor, thus allowing heat to rise freely. Oddly enough though, this caused everyone to leave their apartment doors open and unintentionally encouraged early semester socialization, which was nice.

Those that survive the heat will eventually be rewarded with the cold of a New Hampshire winter. When you’ve finally cooled off enough, don’t expect the cold to go away any time soon. It’s here to stay like an annoying pair of in-laws. Much like the air conditioning, there is no way to control heat. Fear not however, for SNHU thought of that and installed stoves that can be turned on full blast by a gust of wind so you can easily heat your apartment. I’m serious. Monadnock stoves are the easiest things to accidentally turn on. They alone make the place seem like a bigger fire hazard than Greeley Hall was and I watched that place go up in flames. Additional unusual quirks and features of Monadnock could make one wonder if they were trying to hastily correct a number of oversights right before finishing.

Whether or not you choose to recognize the good or bad, Monadnock plays a crucial role in sustaining an on campus social scene at a time when SNHU is continuously evolving. It has clear flaws, but these are the kinds of things that will eventually lead future students to say, “It has character.”

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