Dorm Room Tour!

Category Student Voices


Claire Chen Class of '18
Authored on November 25, 2015


So you've heard about the classes and the extracurriculars at Harvard, but there's far more to the college experience.

What about your actual home away from home––the place you spend most of your waking hours? Indeed, the dorm room is key to your day to day life, and it's the one aspect of college you often learn the least about. In my case, I always wondered what kind of furniture I would have and how my dorm would really look, both before and after I got into Harvard. So, to cut to the chase and spare you guys the suspense, I'll highlight a few of the essentials present in every Harvard dormitory.

Let's start with the pieces of furniture that you are guaranteed to have for the four years that you live on campus.


No words are needed to describe this essential component of your bedroom. What I will say is that Harvard doubles mostly start out with bunk beds, but you have the option to debunk them and arrange them separately in your room. Whatever works best for you and your roommate!

A screenshot of Cinderella lying in bed

Me and my bed. All day, every day.


Another college necessity. I'm happy to inform you that Harvard desks come with three drawers where you can keep your valuables, along with a well-designed, cushioned chair that is physically incapable of tipping over unless you're going out of your way. They almost look like massive rocking chairs, and as someone who enjoys leaning on the back legs of ordinary chairs far too much, this safety mechanism has probably saved my thick skull more than once already.

Photograph of author's desk in dorm room


Since there's no way your books can all fit on your desk, you have a three level shelf you can shove them onto instead.


Photograph of author's bookshelf

The books on my shelf are a combination of my readings from freshman and sophomore year, and it’s quite satisfying to watch the collection grow. But also- Cards Against Humanity.


And while you do have either a walk-in closet or a cabinet, you also have a five level drawer to store the rest of your clothes. Life in Massachusetts means you get to experience the brunt of all four seasons, so you will definitely have quite a variety of clothes with you at college. My drawer is and has always been full.

Photograph of author's dresser

Five levels of this wooden glory.

And now, for two dorm room features that are pretty unique to Harvard.

Window Seat!

One of my favorites- most of the older Harvard buildings have them, and if you don't get one in freshman year, chances are you'll have them at least once by the time you graduate. My roommates and I took great pride in figuring out this color combination.

Photograph of author's window seat in her dorm room

Interior design for days.

The Classic Fireplace

Exactly what it sounds like. Sadly, it is boarded up to prevent foolish Harvard students from setting fire to their dorm rooms, but it's the presence that matters.

Photograph of boarded fireplace in author's dorm room

Hope this gives you guys a better sense of the average Harvard dorm! Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!


Claire Chen Class of '18

Hey guys! My name is Claire and I graduated in 2018.

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