Satire | Housing Horoscopes: What your housing says about you

By Nadiya Greaser, Staff Columnist

One of the tacit rules of college is not to judge people — out loud –– for where they live. It’s an unfortunate reality that, between waitlists and flaky friends, plenty of people get shorted, and even the best apartments have weird basements and small closets. That being said, we all judge people for where they live. Of course we do! So since I’m being honest, here’s what your housing says about you.


Full disclosure, I thought these ugly, battery-shaped buildings were more or less interchangeable, but I have since been told by my cooler, underclassmen friends (hi Mia) that that’s entirely wrong. Apparently there is a hierarchy to the Towers, and unfortunately for Tower C, you’re on the bottom. You’ve got a “weird vibe,” which I don’t hold against you, but some might. Congratulations to Tower A, y’all are the cool Tower. This is obviously subjective because your rooms are still pizza slice-shaped, but maybe your string lights and Society6 tapestries are cooler.

Sutherland Hall

Hey gifted-and-talented, why are you living in the dormitory equivalent of math camp? I understand that there’s probably an easy joke about the upper campus academic elites, but I’m hung up on why you’d choose to walk up that hill in the winter. I’ve heard that the Perch is better than the Eatery, so maybe it’s worth it?

Lothrop Hall

Either you had such a terrible lottery number that this is all that was left, or you’re a nursing student. Maybe you’re a first-year loner who hates the idea of waking up to another person’s alarm clock, or you’re an upperclassman whose roommates sucked so bad last year that you’ve resorted to a single. I know that whatever your reason, there is a level of desperation required to live in a building without air conditioning that’s next to a helicopter landing pad. 

SkyVue and The Bridge on Forbes — they’re basically the same

Your parents pay your rent. I’m sorry-not-sorry, but I don’t know any college students who can pay $1,200 a month for thin walls, artificially exposed ducts and a kitchenette with industrial coffeehouse furniture. If I met all the people that live in The Bridge on Forbes, I probably still wouldn’t know anyone who pays their own rent. No judgement, but just so you know, it sounds icky and ironic when you use words like “food desert” and “gentrification.”

Amos Hall

Hi sorority sister! Why are we still doing the whole “on Wednesdays we wear pink” thing? Not that there’s anything wrong with the endless stream of color coordinated Big and Little pictures, but c’mon. I’m guessing you’re big into icebreakers and group activities and that you paint your face for football games, which is cool, in an aggressively peppy sort of way.

Bouquet Gardens

You and three of your best girlfriends decided to live together after not living together last year, and you won’t make that mistake again. Where did it all go wrong? You have the fairy lights, the vine wall hanging, cute little mugs and girlbossy day planners, but y’all are one bad day away from stabbing each other in the shower. One of you always forgets to wash her dishes, someone else leaves the mail out on the table in a big pile, and it is getting real passive aggressive in there. If this doesn’t sound like any of your roommates, the messy one is probably you.

South Oakland

There is an essential ratio to South Oakland apartments — for every additional roommate after three, add a couch to the basement. So typically, four guys in a house equals two couches in the basement. Five guys equals three couches, and at six y’all get absurd with four basement couches, two TVs right next to each other and multiple Keurigs. You have a math problem, and too many roommates.

South Oakland (with a porch)

WE GET IT, YOU HAVE A PORCH. We see your porch-sitting selfies, and we know that whenever a conversation about crummy South O housing comes up, you will inevitably humblebrag, “My place is a little small, but we’ve got a porch.” A porch is not a personality.

North Oakland

You are constantly correcting people when they say, “You live in Oakland, right?” North O is not a fundamentally different place than South O — sure, people are less likely to use the word “darty” or throw up in your yard –– but it’s the same groceryless, laundryless wasteland.

Squirrel Hill

Were you weirdly close to your high school English teacher, too? You dress like an extra in a John Hughes movie, and you know uncomfortably too much about your professors, because they live on your block. There’s nothing like getting groceries hungover on Saturday morning, and seeing your sociology professor stare at you across the greens. Your rent is cheaper, which offsets riding a bus crowded with Carnegie Mellon students, and actually having laundry in your building makes you basically a real adult.


Hi queer studies major, I like your Doc Martens.

South Side

Someone was a little too excited to turn 21 — not that being underage stopped you, you party animal. Why did you move to the South Side? Was it the awkward distance from campus, or the river in between you and everyone you know? Was it because you thought there would be way more bar crawling in your life? To everyone who moved to the South Side right before the pandemic, I’m sorry. I realize that most of the appeal of expensive rent and street parking was probably the nightlife, and then the world shut down and bars closed for a year.

Nadiya Elyse Greaser is a queer, disabled writer who is interested in the intersections of identity and communal living. Write to her at [email protected].