Now part of the elite “suburb-dwellers” of John Brown University’s campus, Northslope Apartment residents have bid farewell to regular college dorm life.
Made up of 76 females and 12 males, apartment residents can still smell the fresh paint on the walls of the recently constructed residence halls.
Each apartment is furnished with a couch, refrigerator, sink, dishwasher, microwave, stove, oven and a washing machine and dryer. Apartment residents Katherine Holderness and Jewel Gilbert said the facilities make them feel like they live in the “real world.”
“This is like normal life,” said Holderness.
Holderness listed the apartments’ spaciousness as one of their key characteristics.
“I love having space to live my life,” said Holderness. “Feeling cramped causes stress. Here I have a ton of resources and don’t feel stressed. While I loved Mayfield, I sometimes felt stressed living in so small an area. Here, I have an eating space, a sleeping space and an entertainment space that are all completely different.”
Many students take advantage of the extra space by regularly inviting people over.
“We’ve hosted people a lot,” said Holderness. “That’s been awesome. It’s not just good for us, but it’s good for the community at large. They can come up for food, or fellowship, or studying. That’s really nice.”
At the same time, students enjoy the privacy of a quieter environment.
“It’s really nice to be working in a living room with people you’re really close to,” Gilbert said.
Holderness said the apartments lack the communal atmosphere of the dorms.
“They’re kind of like homes, so you wait to be invited into someone else’s apartment,” said Holderness. “Most people don’t keep their doors open, and it’s not easy to get to know your neighbors because everyone has their own schedules.”
Unlike the university’s other residence halls, the apartments have yet to institute yearly traditions.
“There’s no ring-downs or Mayfield loves J. Alvin,” Gilbert said. “It just doesn’t have any of that established yet.”
Each complex has two Resident Advisors who often drop by the individual apartments on the weekends.
Unlike the dorms, the apartments do not have scanners for students to swipe in order to enter the buildings. Residents must use their keys to unlock the main doors, and visitors cannot enter the buildings unless residents go to the doors to let them in.
“It’s kind of annoying, actually,” said Holderness. “It’s the only thing I don’t like about them.”
The apartments have their own quirks. Many of the wash machines have malfunctioned, and some of the sinks make odd sounds when liquid flows down their drains.
“No one knows where the squeaks and bumps are yet,” said Gilbert. “There are still some kinks being worked out, but it’s just because the stuff is so new, which is such a nice problem to have.”