His spacious whitewashed living room is plastered with a large poster of a Mad Magazine caricature of George W. Bush, a gift from his mother. On the opposite wall, he proudly displays a Slytherin tapestry. His coffee table is cluttered with game pieces from Dungeons and Dragons, as well as a copy of Sarah Palin’s “Going Rogue.”
And unlike the vast majority of seniors, Mytheos Holt ’10 can really say that it is all his. Due to luck and a shrewd knowledge of campus living, he now resides in one of the campus’s four single person houses.
“Basically, I got very lucky,” Holt said. “I got a very good housing number – something like four. However, I hadn’t attended this housing workshop about living with housemates. Apparently it was mandatory and with ResLife being so very competent, I was effectively banned from living with others.”
Connected to other multi-person houses, these single-person units offer the extremely rare opportunity for undergraduates to vacuum their own living room or make breakfast in their
boxers, all without worrying about lurking housemates.
During the spring 2009 room selection process, an unused single person house—a squat bungalow fixed to a larger two-story wood frame—made a rare appearance in the University housing market. Holt was able to use his high lottery number to his advantage.
“Typically, [single person houses] are removed from the housing selection process and are held for students who require some sort of medical accommodation,” said Director of Residential Life Fran Koerting. “If they are not needed, then they are released for students in the selection process, but since there are so few, they generally end up being used.”
Holt quickly claimed 171A Vine St., and with his own bedroom, kitchen, living room, and bathroom, has been able to fully customize his space to his liking.
For example, Holt has converted his living room into a makeshift practice space, where he can rehearse for his role as Judge Turpin, the villain in the upcoming Second Stage production of the classic Sodenheim musical, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”
At his current address, Holt has also finally found the space to house the sizeable library of books that feed his ravenous intellectual appetite.
“I have a shit-load of books,” Holt said. “Half of the kitchen is entirely devoted to them. The storage is a nice plus and I’ve got closets. Yeah, the closets are great.”
Holt’s senior year home has more benefits than extra legroom and a hybrid kitchen-library. Working on his monumental senior thesis, Holt’s private space offers prime studying conditions from the comfort of his own living room. Considering the distance to Olin Library and other campus study spots, such peace and quiet is a welcome commodity.
While Holt’s situation is uncommon, the Office of Residential Life is working to make solo senior living a more widespread opportunity for the student body.
“We typically have a large number of seniors who enter the selection process as individuals,” Koerting said. “We would like to make sure there are more options available to them, given there are so few apartments and houses. We’re working to split some houses into more individual living spaces so we can accommodate those seniors who don’t want to live with a group of friends, but still want a wood frame experience and their own bedroom.”
Even with ResLife’s hopes of expansion, the single person house remains a rare sight on campus. Yet, despite his unusual housing situation, Holt remains humble about his Vine St. bachelor pad.
“It’s really just a glorified dorm room,” he laughed. “I don’t even control my own heat. But then again, I do get a queen-sized bed.”