The idea of a boarding school may excite or scare students, but keep reading to learn more about how IMSA residential halls look, how to be a good roommate, recommended dorm supplies, and potential residential hall events.
There are currently seven residential halls on campus: 1501, 1502, 1503, 1504, 1505, 1506, and 1507. As of now, 1501, 1503, and 1507 are co-ed buildings, while 1502 and 1506 are female, and 1504 and 1505 are male. Each of the halls has four wings, which are labeled A, B, C, and D. Each wing has its own wing common area, and each residence hall has one combined hall commons shared between all wings. The wing commons contain couches, TVs, refrigerators, microwaves, sinks, cabinets, and more. The hall commons consist of the Residential Counselors’ office, tables, chairs, sofas, a TV, and more.
An exciting aspect of IMSA residential halls is the events hosted within the halls and wings. All residential halls compete in the Clash of the Halls, which includes mini-competitions throughout the week that lead up to the final pep rally, in which points are totaled to see which hall wins. This is similar to Wing Wars, which includes short games and events throughout the week, but the participants are only the A, B, C, and D wings in a hall. On top of the contests, each wing also engages in parties throughout the year, including Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day parties. Parents usually host these parties, and outside food is brought in for students to enjoy.
Going into IMSA, not many students have experienced having a long-term roommate. While students should communicate with their roommates about who brings certain supplies for the dorm, it is also important to discuss living habits. Specific questions to ask can include: “what time do you usually go to bed?”, “what temperature do you typically want in the room?”, “do you work better in silence or with music?”, “are you planning on staying the weekends on campus?”, etc. On top of discussing living habits, it is also important to get comfortable and get to know your roommate. Exciting conversation starters can include: “why did you decide to come to IMSA?”, “what are your favorite Netflix shows?”, “what type of music do you listen to?”, “what’s your favorite restaurant/food?”, etc.
While the IMSA suggested supply list does an excellent job of outlining what students should bring to campus, oftentimes there are other supplies that students notice they need, but don’t realize until they get onto campus. Some recommended dorm supplies that aren’t on the IMSA supply list include desk lamps, rugs, full-length mirrors, extension cords, and extra cleaning supplies (Clorox wipes, Febreeze, and tissues). Many upperclassmen and IMSA alumni have compiled and posted their own packing lists online, which can serve as a good reference list.