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Blocking FAQ

HI, all-knowing student! Can you tell me what blocking is?

Sure thang, Timmy! So you currently live in a freshman dorm. On Housing Day, which takes place in early March, you’ll be sorted into one of 12 upperclassmen houses where you’ll spend the remainder of your time here. Instead of sorting individual students, the Housing administrators sort by “blocks,” self-selected groups of two to eight kids. People often make punny names for their blocks, like “Block Dirty to Me” or “Orange is the New Block” or “A$AP Blocky.” This is not a requirement but highly encouraged.

Hm. Weird! And I’ll be roommates with them sophomore year?

Not necessarily; you can technically live with anyone sorted into your house. However, most people do end up living with at least a few of their blockmates.

Ah, interesting. When should I talk about this?

Start discussing blocking possibilities when you return from Winter Break. Don’t mention it at all during the first semester or society will deem you crazy.

…Really?

This is 100% certain. In the fall, think about blocking, but don’t talk about blocking. Next question, Timmy.

Okay. Cool! Should I block with my best friends?

When blocking, think about who you could live in a house with rather than who you could room with. Even if you don’t end up living together (a definite possibility), you’ll still see each other sometime during the day.

Great! Should I block with my boyfriend/girlfriend?

HAHAHAHAHA. You’re funny, Timmy. No. Absolutely not. I know you think you’re the new Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson, all beautiful and caring and shit, but when you inevitably break up (#sorrynotsorry), realize that you will see this person for the remainder of your college experience. Bad move.

Wow, this process sounds super fun and not awkward at all!

Oh, Timmy. You innocent sparrow, you. Here’s the deal: you’re right, this process can be absolutely painless. Unfortunately, every year there’s inevitably some drama. Classic situations: the group of nine realize they have nine a day before submission. One friend admits they hate everyone else a day before submission. Most involve a day before submission.

Meep! How do I avoid the drama?!

It’s easy! Literally just voice your concerns. In a polite and mature manner. This means in person, NOT over text, with a lot of compliments to soothe any potential blows. If you’re honest with yourself and your friends, and honest early, you’ll be okay.

And what are linkmates? Should they be people I like?

If you want, you can “link” with another blocking group. This means you’ll be placed in the same “Housing Neighborhood,” so within a two-minute walk of each other. This typically occurs with groups that were too large to include in a single block. While many groups do choose to link, know that you’ll probably see your linking group as much as any other block (i.e. pretty irregularly). They will not be placed in the same house, so it’s the one sure fire way to guarantee they’re not in your face. 

…Should they be people I hate?

…That’s actually not a bad idea.

What is floating? Is this bad?

Floating is simply blocking in a group of one. Ridin’ solo. Going commando. Wait. Ignore the last one. Floating is actually a great option for people who don’t particularly enjoy talking about blocking/don’t have anyone in particular that they’re dying to live with.

Wow this is a lot of information haha I’m totally fine though I’m not freaking out hahaHAHAhaaaa like totally calm.

Hey. HEY. Get it together, bucko. Blocking can be stressful and awkward and time-consuming, but if you do it right, it’s no big deal.

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Francesca Malatesta,  Editor in Chief
francesca.malatesta@hsa.net
Jessica Luo, Publishing Director
jessica.luo@hsa.net