In my explorations through the Olin website, I've noticed that there isn't that much information about residential life for you guys. I imagine it would be useful to know what Olin looks like, and what we do outside of classes on a regular day. So for all of you who haven't been on a tour, I'll do my best to virtually show you around.
I'm going to take you guys through an average evening - with informational tidbits interspersed.
After class I head to the dining hall to get a quick snack of hummus and pita bread. Everyone is on the meal plan, and your entrances are unlimited from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm (or something like that - it changes on the weekends) which is nice, because you can grab an apple between classes effortlessly.
When I get back to West Hall (where I live - all freshman live here, as well as a majority of sophomores, and a smattering of upperclassman) I throw on sweatpants, grab my mouthguard, and run over to the Babson rugby pitch (which is conveniently closer to Olin than it is to Babson) for rugby practice. Olin has its own ultimate Frisbee team and soccer team (we even have fields - check out the picture above), but we are not allowed to play varsity sports, because the NCAA is suspicious of our scholarship. Can't you just imagine Olin becoming a D3 football powerhouse?
We are also allowed to play on the intramural and club teams of Babson and Wellesley (if you are female). My roomie, Rachel '14, actually started up Olin teams to play in the Babson intramural softball and volleyball leagues. Most Oliners are pretty active, even if they don't participate in organized sports. There is often a football or a Frisbee being thrown around the Great Lawn on a nice day. My friend Kevin '14 always tries to get me to catch a football and I pretend like I'm going to, but once it gets close to me, I tend to scream and jump out of the way.
I return from rugby covered in dirt, so I get in the shower. We have bathrooms right in our rooms, with a shower and everything, so I don't even need to pack up one of those basket things with shampoo. This allows us to have our dorms be co-ed.
I realize I should probably do some laundry, so I grab my basket and detergent and head to the laundry room. I swipe my prox card (your ID is officially called a One Card, and you can load money onto it to use for laundry - it's $1.50 per wash and another $1.50 per dry) and set the alarm on my watch to 36 minutes, so I can come switch it to the dryer.
Then I grab my laptop and head into the lounge. It's been a couple of hours since I have checked email, so I go through my inbox, using all my willpower to ignore emails from Randomness (one of the many mailing lists that we can subscribe to - this one is just for interesting internet things. It's a great procrastination tool) and eventually get to homework. As I'm CADing (yay Solidworks!), a couple people turn on the TV and start a couple rounds of Super Smash Bros.
At 9 p.m. I move to one of the team rooms (dorm rooms that aren't home to kids, but to a plethora of whiteboards, used for team meetings that require quietness) to meet up with some teammates and work on a project. Generally it's not a problem to meet in a lounge or antelounge (the segment of the lounge closer to the stairs) to work on a project, but sometimes you need to minimize distraction, and that's what the team rooms are great for.
At 10, the R2s (Resident Resources) are hosting a study break, so we head out to the patch of lawn between East Hall (the newer of the two dorms, with some double rooms, and some suites - 6 co-ed singles around a common room with 2 bathrooms) and West Hall, for some s'more-making on the grills. Study breaks happen as finals approach and we get a little stressed. Our R2s aren't really traditional RAs, because our Honor Code (read the honor code here) holds us responsible for our actions, so the R2s can focus on being helpful and setting up fun things to do, rather than worry about rule-enforcing. They are upperclassmen who are selected by the Office of Student life (with student input), and there is at least one living on each floor. You can ask them anything, crash on their futon at night, or call them to let you into your room if you're locked out.
After the study break, I head back inside to finish homework. Usually around 2 a.m. I head back to my room (if the prospect of staying up that late scares you, don't worry, you get used to it). In West Hall, the rooms are all doubles. They come with two beds (twin XL, for all you tall people), two desks with some drawers, two dressers that are about 3 feet high and four shelves, that can be stacked (sometimes it takes a little effort, but I promise, they are intended to fit together). Also there are two large armoires, with a lot of hanging room. There is also a sink with a cabinet and a mirror with a cabinet behind it (a lot of people don't discover the medicine cabinet until partway through the year, so take note future students!).
After chatting with Rachel and checking my email (and an array of social networking sites) one last time, I plop down into my cave bed (my mattress is underneath my bed frame, and my furniture is on top -it resembles a cave somewhat) and go to sleep.