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The Anatomy of an Ohio State Quad

 Written by    July 11, 2017

You did it: you’ve been accepted, you’ve enrolled, you’ve even gone to orientation. The next step, and one of the last ones you’ll take before stepping on campus in August, is receiving your housing assignment and getting ready for moving in.

Housing is one of the scariest parts of college—what room will I get? Where will I live? Will my roommate(s) be nice? While I can’t speak about anyone’s roommate experience other than my own, I can talk about life in an Ohio State North Campus quad. What I mean by a North Campus Quad is a four-person room in one of the old dorms on north campus, like Houck, Taylor, Drackett, Haverfield, or Halloran, to name a few.

When I got my assignment for housing, what gave me the most anxiety (and even kept me up at night) was storage. Where will all my things go? How much should I leave at home? What clothing/utensil/etc. is important enough to me that I want it to take up my precious space? Online you can find the layout of an average amount of space you’ll have, and it really is not much, especially in comparison to what I was used to.

There are some variations on this, but the bare-bones design is consistent through all old North quads. (x)

The bedroom and living room in combination are 260 square feet. Divide that by four, and each of you gets 65 square feet. So, I was understandably worried, and kept being worried until I unlocked my room for the first time.

As soon as I got into the room I was pleasantly surprised at how much space I had. So, below, I want to talk about space, storage, and show you all some pictures of an example room (my own!), which if you google you can’t really find online.


The bathroom has two mirrors, a shower, a sink, four towel racks, two hooks, an outlet and a toilet. They also have four shelves for easy toiletry storage.

Living/Working Room

There are four desks and four chairs, of course. Two desks are attached to the wall and they have a really nice overhead light and overhead storage. These are the desks that I shared with one of my roommates, and I have two pictures of my workspace, one from when I first moved in, and one from days before I moved out. The space holds clutter well, to say the least.

Work space — before

Work space — later

The other two desks are independent pieces of furniture with a drawer and two shelves. They come with desk lamps but our room did not end up using them in favor of other lighting. These are the only true lights in the room (there are orange ones on the wall that are old and do not work as well as one would think) so PRO TIP: bring fairy lights, Christmas lights, or other forms of lighting.

The microfridge was always more than enough for the four of us; it couldn’t fit a whole XL pizza box, but it fit all four of our foodstuffs comfortably, even when Maddie and Lauren both had two gallon-sized bottles of lemonade.

There is also a fire-proof chair that’s not all that comfortable at first and then the most comfortable piece of furniture in the room (the alternative is the floor). We had just enough extra room for my roommate to have a small shelving unit that we put a TV on top of.

The biggest surprise I had was the really big shelving unit near the door. I got two drawers in it and a shelf, which was more than enough for my nonperishables, potato chips, dinnerware, and other miscellaneous food objects.


The bed space is…tight. Underneath the beds there’s enough room for some flat plastic boxes and nothing that’s bigger than a foot tall. There are two outlets near every bed; I attached a long power strip to my single outlet and was able to plug in more than one thing at once, like a clamp lamp, Christmas lights, my laptop, and my phone charger for days when I was studying in bed. PRO TIP: the beds are super comfy, so don’t worry about that.

Closet space is one thing that surprised me. I limited all my clothing to two boxes when moving in. It was enough clothes but I had extra room! So in trips afterward I brought more clothing, especially as it got colder. My closet was nice; it came with two drawers at the bottom and a shelf at the top, but the other three closets just had the shelf.

There’s a big center chest of drawers, including four lockable drawers for things like debit cards, extra cash, or laptop storage. There are also sets of bigger drawers and four square shelves. My roommates got the big drawers and the shelves (I had enough space with my two drawers).

Space-saving recommendations

A few things I learned last year:

  1. Use thin hangers. Find them here at Target!
  2. Roll t-shirts
  3. Keep your space clean and it will seem like you have more room. Also, you’ll trip less.
  4. Bring duct tape
  5. A bedside caddy is nice in theory but mine did not get a whole lot of use
  6. Bring extra lighting
  7. Big storage bins, totes, or anything else of the sort take up more room than they save

Again, all pictures of my dorm room are here so that they can be seen in clearer resolutions and larger!

Author, Housing, University Housing

4 Responses

  1. Mary Grace Mary Grace says:

    Good! I’m glad that I helped you. Thanks for reading!

  2. Mary Grace Mary Grace says:

    I’m glad you got something out of it! Thanks for reading!

  3. Avatar Vicky k says:

    Thanks for posting. It’s very helpful!

  4. Avatar Houston says:

    Thank you mary grace, a very insightful view into life in Taylor. I’m sure it will help me in packing my stuff to move in this year.

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