My First-Year Residential Life Experience and Dorm Tour

Category Student Voices


Inno, HFAI Coordinator
Inno Class of '25
Authored on May 14, 2022


Residential life can be one of the most significant experiences of any student at Harvard College.

Now that I am at the verge of completing my first year, it’s time to reflect on my residential experience over the past academic year. In this post I will be sharing about my first-year residential experience and taking you through a quick tour of the dorm room that I have been living in this past year.

Where the dorm is: 

Among the many first-year dorms, I was placed to live in The Prescotts, entryway number 20. All first years live in one of the residential neighborhoods called Yards, which are located at the geographic and historic center of the college campus. My dorm, 20 Prescott, is in the Maple Yard which comprises other two dorms – The Inn and DeWolfe.

20 Prescott entryway photo taken on the first year convocation day


Who we live with:

All entryways are structured similarly. We live with a proctor (a Harvard administrator or a graduate student) who  creates an academic and social community for the 20 to 40 first-year students in the same entryway. Our proctor, who also happened to be my academic advisor, served as an excellent source of information about academics, extracurriculars, social life, and College resources. A huge shoutout and special thanks to my proctor, Leanne Rowe, for her immeasurable help with my adjustment to Harvard and college life!

My dorm/suite:

During my first-year I have been living in a suite that I have been sharing with one other person. Our suite is found on the third floor of the building/entryway. Our suite has a private kitchen, a common room, a private bathroom, and a shared bedroom with two closets and an extra storage room. This type of dorm style is atypical for first-year students at Harvard. Our Yard, Maple Yard, was created to accommodate our larger class for the 21-22 school year. As such, many students in this Yard are in spaces that are not typical first-year dorms. 

The kitchen: 

My suitemate and I have a kitchen that is equipped with an oven, a dishwasher, kitchen cabinets, and a fridge. While many other dorms have shared kitchen areas, some dorms like ours in Maple Yard have in-suite kitchens. Sadly, the gas stove doesn’t work as the gas has been turned off to prevent any potential fires. However, the oven works perfectly and we’ve had some neighbors bake cakes and cookies for the entryway.

The kitchen at one of the suites in the 20 Prescott building


The common room:

Our suite has a common room with a couch by the window, two bookshelves (one of which we turned into a shoe rack), two study desks (with drawers) and chairs, and a classic non-working fireplace (covered up to prevent fire emergencies). When not using the common room for studying or just resting, we use it to host a few friends to hang out.

The living room in one of the 20 Prescott suites

A private bathroom:

Our suite has a private bathroom with a bathtub and a mirror. The majority of first-year students in other dorms have communal bathrooms that may be shared among students living on the same floor. My situation is unique given the creation of the new Maple Yard. 

The bedroom:

Our suite has a shared bedroom with two beds, two closets, two dressers, and a small extra room for storage where we keep our bags and other belongings. My suitemate and I decided to move one bed to the common room and turn it into a bedroom, and created “singles” so that we could have our own private spaces. 

A bedroom in one of the 20 Prescott suites

At the start of the next academic year, I will be moving to an upperclassmen house, Pforzheimer (aka Pfoho) House. I found that out during Housing Day - the day when all first-year students learn about which House that they will be moving into during their sophomore year and beyond. In one of my future blog posts, I will be sharing about my life in Pfoho and giving a room tour as well!


  • First-Year
  • Residential Life
  • Student Life

Inno Class of '25

Kamwene! My name is Innocent (Inno), and I am a junior at Harvard College studying computer science. I hail from Tanzania.

Inno, HFAI Coordinator