Meet Deanna Shepherd, a rising sophomore Mechanical Engineering major from Phillipsburg, NJ. Deanna is a former resident of Emery House and will be a Gryphon in M&M!
Getting accepted to Lehigh was one of the happiest days of my life! My brother, who is two years older than me, also goes to Lehigh and until then I was living out my dreams through him. During his freshman year he resided in Dravo, which is one of the biggest freshman dorms on campus. I thought everyone had that same experience; living with hundreds of other kids in the same building and walking up that giant hill to get to their dorm. However, when I got my rooming assignment of Emery House I was completely taken back! Suddenly everything I thought I knew about living in a freshman dorm just vanished.
Living in Upper Cents is definitely different than living in a huge building like M&M and Dravo. In my hall there were just over 20 girls and the only other people in the building were 20 boys downstairs. Sure, upperclassmen will still tell you that you have just as many people in Dravo in the other upper cents residences, but in my experience I only went to one other building, McConn, and that was even a pain because you needed to let someone open the door since you didn’t have swipe access. Although this living arrangement didn’t allow me to meet a lot of other freshman, it allowed me to grow closer to the people that did live in my building. My hall was like a little family with everyone sharing clothes, borrowing shoes, and passing around the vacuum that one girl thought to bring. Even if we weren’t all super close friends, we helped each other out. I mean, we were so comfortable with each other that half of the girls just walked around in their underwear around the hall!
It was also nice that the boys were on a completely different floor. You didn’t have to worry about walking to the shower in a towel and running into a guy; and on the rare occasion that a boyfriend was visiting no one made it awkward. Even if you weren’t friends with the people downstairs, they were always friendly! You could’ve never talked to one of them and if you were doing your homework in the lounge they would help you. Of course they pulled a few pranks on the girls upstairs too but it was all harmless, and we usually got them back!
But besides all of these things, the most important is how close you can become to your Gryphon! Without her having to worry about 50 or so other girls on your floor, she can do special things like leave holiday treats outside your door, decorate the hall for every single occasion (even if you didn’t even know it was an important holiday), and be ready to talk and offer guidance at two in the morning if that’s when you had time. Being so close to my gryphon is what made me want to become one myself! Even though she won’t be in my hall next year, I know she will always help me if I ask.
My first year experience would’ve been totally backwards if I didn’t live in upper cents. Sure, I could’ve met more people and done laundry without having to go outside, but then again I wouldn’t be 20 feet from a dining hall! If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t change a thing! I loved the girls on hall and all the good and the bad that went along with living in Emery and I hope any of the incoming first years that get put n upper cents appreciate it as much as I did.