Your first dorm: What to expect and what to get excited about

Your first dorm as a freshman can be exciting … and daunting. It’s hard to know what to expect out of your new home away from home. Youcef ’20 and Shabrina ’20 are here to extol the virtues of Potter and Masters, the boys’ and girls’ freshman dorms at Peddie.

Welcome Home

Youcef: My love for the Potter dormitories may be a little biased, considering I lived in Potter South as a freshman and in Potter North as a junior. There's a common understanding of the state of freshman dorms in general. Think “the oldest dorm on campus” or “the smallest rooms on campus.” These are certainly misconceptions at Peddie. And there are more important things – dorm activities and special moments with friends – that make life in the Potter dormitories memorable.

Shabrina: Masters House is unlike other dorms at Peddie in many ways. It consists of three dorms: Masters South, Masters North and Masters Thirds. All of the freshman girls live in Masters House. It’s the only dorm on campus to house all the boarding members of a class.

Right in front of Masters is Center Campus, where you can sit and complete your homework on a sunny day or play a game of volleyball with friends. Masters is located halfway between Annenberg Hall and Swig Arts Center, in the middle of campus, which means history class, the latest on-campus art show and dinner are all a short walk away.

girls' dorm bonds with a group meditation session

School-wide dorm bonding takes place on Thursday evenings.

The dorm bonding experience 

Youcef: Most Thursdays, there is school-wide dorm bonding. Each dorm does different things, and the Potter dormitories never disappoint. The most memorable dorm bonding is the end-of-the-year barbecue. Potter North and South dorm supervisors cook burgers and hot dogs on the grill right outside the dorms. While they’re cooking, students from both dorms are playing frisbee, Spike Ball, Kan Jam or otherwise just sitting around and hanging out. This event is my favorite because it’s the last big get-together before the end of the year. Some other events include making our own pizzas and creating our Blair Day banner.

After a long week, you can also count on Potter to have some good food to ease you into your Sunday. Most Saturdays, dorms have the opportunity to order or make food. With pizza, cheesesteaks, sandwiches and make-your-own grilled cheese, Potter North and South undoubtedly have the best food.

Common room, common interests

Shabrina: Masters has one of the best common rooms at Peddie. It recently underwent a renovation and is now equipped with a great kitchen so that you can make your instant macaroni and cheese with ease. The common room is especially useful during exam week, as it has two study rooms.

Youcef: Any TV in a boys’ dorm sees a whole lot of traffic throughout the year. Peddie has a variety of different sports fans, including tennis, soccer, baseball, football, basketball and more. During bigger events like the Super Bowl or this past year's Winter Olympics, you can always count on a significant crowd being in the lounge. Even if you aren’t a huge fan of the sport, watching all your friends in the dorm get excited radiates onto you.

Boys doing karaoke as part of dorm bonding

Dorm-bonding events help bring residents closer together.

Teachers you can count on

Shabrina: The dorm parents in Masters will be members of the Peddie faculty you’ll remember long after you graduate. When you need a shoulder to lean on, are seeking advice, need to rant about how Humanities frustrates you, or just need cheering up, go to a dorm parent. Be sure to ask Ms. Parra about her story of the penguin in Argentina, it surely will make you laugh.

Girls smile and point at each other

Your dorm is your home base, your safe zone and the place where you'll form long-lasting friendships.

Your first Peddie friends

Youcef: One of the first things that you do as an incoming boarding student is to move into your new dorm. When you enter the dorm, you instantly are greeted by the dorm supervisors and prefects. Prefects are upperclassmen who act as mentors to younger students. They can help you move your stuff or just be one of your first friends on campus. You also get the opportunity to meet your roommate/friend for the next school year. The Potter dormitories are extremely welcoming as you make your first steps onto campus as a student.

Shabrina: When living in Masters, all your friends live either down the hall or on a different floor. You won’t have to walk across campus to say “Hi” to a friend or ask them for help. They live right next to you.

Your freshman dorm isn’t just a place where you live. It’s foundational to your time at Peddie: your home base, your safe zone and the place where you’ll form friendships that’ll still be going strong at your 5th Reunion. Or your 50th.