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Anywhere but the Shoeboxes


Clemson is all about its history, and we, as the residents of the Shoeboxes, are all in. As the oldest dorms that students still live in on Clemson’s campus, the Shoeboxes have an incredibly rich history, and those who live there take a lot of pride in their legacy. We have a bond with people from all different generations. I personally have a family member that lived in the dorms back when they were new, around 40 years ago.  However, due to their age, they are not the most attractive buildings on campus, inside or out, so they get a lot of hate. “Anywhere but the Shoeboxes,” was what a friend told me in high school when discussing where I would be living this year. Now, when I mention that I live in the Shoeboxes, I am often met with a face of pity and an “Oh, I’m sorry,” to which I often reply, “Don’t be sorry, I love them!” and I really do. I wouldn’t want to live in any other dorm. Before you think, “This girl is crazy,” hear me out.

First of all, as people who live in Core, Holmes, McCabe, or the Quad know, living on the west side of campus is incredible. The proximity to the stadium is absolutely unbeatable. I look out my window on game days and watch the parade. Even if I don’t go to the game itself, I can hear the announcers, the roar of the crowd, everything, all from my own room. I don’t just experience the Clemson gameday atmosphere; I live in it. Furthermore, the dining hall, the student union, and the mailroom are all extremely close. I think back to the time I had four large packages and had to use a trolley to get them to my dorm. Thank goodness I didn’t have to walk all the way across campus. Other than the infamous hill, getting to my car is a pretty quick and painless walk. Also, unlike the other dorms in the area, we have an employee parking lot located right next to us that we can park in between the hours of 4pm-7am and on weekends. Loading up your car for a weekend trip? Need to bring in groceries? You just don’t feel like walking the hill in the afternoon? No problem.

I have a lot of clothes, ask anyone who has ever been in my room. So, as you can imagine, my favorite perk about the Shoeboxes is that they are the only freshman dorm on campus with a walk-in closet. Of course, this isn’t a London Tipton-esque three story closet by any means, but I can walk all the way in and turn around, which, for a dorm room, is pretty remarkable. And unlike many dorms, the shoebox closets have actual doors. For anyone who hasn’t had time to clean their room during exam week, I’m sure you can imagine the benefits of this.

The Shoeboxes also feature an actual sink in the room. Staying in Manning for my freshman orientation, I really hated having to walk down the hall to just wash my hands and face. This may sound lazy of me, but, when I actually live in a place for a full year, I like the fact that I have the ability to roll out of bed and wash my face in the morning without having to see anyone. This also means I don’t have to go to the bathroom and take up public space to fill up my water bottle or wash my dishes. And for all the ladies out there, you just have to take a few steps to wet your beauty blender during your makeup routine.

So, never judge a book by its cover, or, in this case, never judge a shoebox by the fact that it is a Shoebox. The Shoeboxes were not my first choice of living space, but, since moving in, I have no regrets. I have already highly recommended them to some friends of mine coming to Clemson next year. So, if you are a prospective student or parent reading this, please ignore the bad things you may hear and look into the Shoeboxes for yourself. If you are a current student or graduate, please stop hating on the Shoeboxes; they really don’t deserve it.  Let’s end the stigma associated with the Shoeboxes and embrace them for the incredible living spaces they actually are.

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