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MIT student blogger Melis A. '08

Next House: Where The Sidewalk Ends by Melis A. '08

A tour of Next House!

I should be filling out an absurdly long form so that I can get a pre-med advisor, but instead I’ll write my entry about Next House! I’ve lived for two years in Next House. I like the description on the Next website, so I’ll put it here:

” We are one of the largest and friendliest dorms on campus, with almost four hundred easy-going people who like to hang out, have fun, and enjoy their time at MIT.

Situated on the banks of the Charles River, Next House offers stunning views of the riverfront, downtown Boston, Fenway Park, and the infamous CITGO sign from many of the rooms and lounges.
Next House was designed by world-famous architect Jose Louis Sert, and was completed in 1982. The house’s architectural themes are sun and community, conveyed by the dorm’s colorful living spaces, solar rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, a bright dining hall, and a beautiful courtyard over which many of the rooms look.

Next House offers a balance of private and community spaces in its eight wings, each of which has its own atmosphere and culture.”

In fact the website is awesome, so I’ll avoid just repeating everything that’s written there.

Right off the bat, I’ll get it out of the way that Next House is far from the center of campus. If you’re looking for convenience, then Next isn’t for you!

I chose to live in Next my freshman year because I wanted to be in the Residence Based Advising (RBA) program. As part of the program, all freshmen get assigned to not only a regular advisor but a resident advisor, who’s an upperclassman that lives in the same dorm. It’s a great opportunity to get advice from an adult and a wise upperclassman. Also, the seminars are made of up of 8 other freshman who live in your dorm, and you meet with them and your advisors every week. I had the sweetest seminar EVER. It was called “Tech Goes to Movieland,” and we met every Sunday night. We would eat a free, amazing dinner from a local restaurant and then watch and discuss a movie (i.e. Dr. Strangelove, Big Fish, Mean Girls, Clockwork Orange, Saving Private Ryan, Best in Show.) Anyway, this year my roommate became a Resident Associate Advisor (one of the upperclassman advisors) for the same seminar =)

Ok, and now for the tour! In this entry, I’ll highlight the facilities, and then I’ll do another one on rooms. Next House is wonderfully bright, open, and CLEAN! So after walking ~8 minutes from the Student Center, or biking, or taking a shuttle, you see the front desk:

On the right is an Athena cluster, with a printer named “Tree-eater” (very aptly named):

On the left is a weight room:

If you walk straight, you see the Tastefully Furnished Lounge (TFL) (yes, that’s the actual name):


And on the left is the Courtyard. This is where we have BBQs and people play volleyball, frisbee, etc. I took this picture in the morning, and it’s been raining, so it looks gross =(

Walk a little further and there’s a big opening to the basement, which has a recreational area with pool, foosball, etc. (more on the basement later):

So there’s a little ramp that you walk up, and on the right is the cardio room (I couldn’t fit all of the machines in the picture, but there’s a treadmill, ellipticals, erging machines, stair climbers, etc) and a TV with cable:

And on the left is the Dining Hall. It was renovated a few years ago and it’s beautiful. The food is good, there are a couple different stations: Stir Fry, Grill (with hamburgers, grilled chicken, kabobs), Comforts (which is like homecooked food, i.e. pasta, mashed potatoes, chicken, roast beef), Tossed (they toss a salad made to your specifications or they can make you a wrap sandwich), Bits & Bytes (changes every week, ranges from a Taco Bar to a Cake bar), soup and dessert. Each area has daily specials, which are usually really good.

MIT doesn’t have meal plans like most schools. Instead, your id acts as a debit card, which we call “Tech Cash.” Dorms with dining halls have a program called “Preferred Dining,” where you pay $250 upfront per semester and then get 1/2 off all the food the dining hall. For an example of prices, a hamburger is $6.00 without Preferred Dining, but $3 with it. You can see our entire menu at this site.

Ok, off to the basement! Here’s another picture of the rec room:

Since there’s a dining hall, there are only two kitchens available in the whole dorm:

And here’s the laundry room:

OH! And we have the cheapest soda on campus:

Ok, that’s all for now, I’ll write more about the upper floors later!

Any questions???

13 responses to “Next House: Where The Sidewalk Ends”

  1. Ryan says:

    Yes I have a question, do the dining halls only serve dinner(all that is on the menu) or do they serve a breakfast and lunch or are you on your own for those?

  2. JKim says:

    I stayed at Next Hall! And the dining hall totally looks like a restaurant. It was amazing.

  3. Shan says:

    I LOVE Next House! The scavenger hunt during CPW was such a blast…the dorm and especially the people who lived there were awesome :D It’s definitely in my top choices next year.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’m a little confused about choosing. If I choose Next, I think I can’t change during the adjustment lottery. Is that true? (In some ways that might be a relief.) But then, what do people living in Next do during REX?

  5. Melis says:

    Ryan, yes, all of the MIT dining halls in dorms only serve dinner. They’re thinking about changing this, but I wouldn’t counnt on it.

    Anonymous, it’s verrry difficult for someone in Next to change dorms during REX. It’s really not a big deal, you can still go around to all the dorms and pretend.

  6. prefrosh says:

    ahhh so Next looks really nice and stuff, but i don’t want to be stuck somewhere before i get to look at all of the possibilities in real life.

    is it also difficult for someone in another dorm to switch into Next during REX?

  7. prefrosh says:

    oh and thanks for this entry! very helpful!

  8. Melis, I’m disappointed in you. Telling lies in a post for the prefrosh. tsk tsk :p

    You do NOT have the cheapest soda on campus. EC Desk sells soda for $0.50. wink

  9. Anonymous says:

    Since you wanted RBA and you’re a girl, you probably considered McCormick. Why did you choose Next House over McCormick? (I’m trying to decide which to put as my top choice and which to put as my second.)

  10. Melis says:

    Wow, $0.50 soda. I stand corrected. Cheapest soda on WEST campus (weeessst sidddeee.)

    Honestly, I didn’t consider McCormick because I didn’t know anyone from there, and therefore had no idea what McCormick is like. Plus, at the time, I wanted to live with guys. Now…not so much.

    Prefrosh: nothing is impossible. But, it’s difficult to transfer in and out of Next during REX. I can’t say anything specific, but it’s rare.

  11. Stephanie says:

    Rock on Next House!

    I’ve lived there all four years, and I love it. I actually enjoy the long walk home (gets me some space between home and classes).

    Melis, you should talk about Next Act!

    smile

    -Stephanie

  12. Minh says:

    So I definitely missed the lounge and the weight room…it looks cool!

  13. anonymous says:

    could you explain the seminars a little more? If you live in Next, you have to choose the residence-based seminars, right? What are the pros and cons of the different kinds of seminars?