Where was the tension higher—in the most recent episode of “Survivor” or in the concurrent room draws? Students competing for housing would benefit from adopting Survivor’s motto of “outwit, outplay, and outlast.” Who will be voted off the island? Who will be annexed?
When considering suitemates, it pays to make alliances early. Wait too long, and awkward, embarrassing conversations will inevitably ensue. After forming an alliance that won’t betray you or transfer to another college, the best strategy is to get lucky, pick a room, and hold strong in the face of the many suitors of your nice courtyard view.
If you end up with a low lottery pick, to “outwit” is your only option. If a group of scholars value a quiet study area, do them the favor of alerting them that they have picked the raucous, party entryway. If two girls’ quads want to share a fire door, let them know that they stand a better chance if they choose a less popular area. If reason and half-lies fail, use fake tears or bribe them with furniture as a last resort.
Sometimes “outlasting” is the name of the game. In Timothy Dwight, a group of seven boys wanted the octet, so they endeavored to prevent anyone else from taking the room in the hope that the octet would fall to them in the clean-up draw. Sometimes it takes a big, risky move to prevail. After dissuading a couple of party-seeking guys and stamping out an unconventional attempt to get five boys and three girls in the octet by way of an illicit switch with a girls’ triple next fall, the final seven have indeed outlasted.
Once your housing is settled, relax. Start eating again. Get some sleep. And begin strategizing for the draw next year.