Life in the Big Cities

A story of how three Hamline first-years have found new-found independence in Sorin Hall.

Eden Fahy, Reporter

This year a surplus of first-year students have found a new home for themselves in Hamline’s student dorms. After a tumultuous last few years, Hamline was happy to welcome the class of 2026 and all returning students back on campus.

First-years from all throughout the state, country and world, find themselves in a new environment. And as of 3 p.m. Sept. 9, Hamline University changed the mask mandate for students, faculty and staff. As the world shifts into a post-pandemic mindset, the class of 2026 may be the first class in the last three years to have a college experience similar to that of the pre-COVID-19 world.

To some, the dorm experience is critical. As the first taste of independence for many, it certainly earns college its ‘formative’ title. According to, 68% of the 2026 class lives on campus in the U.S., and from the looks of it at Hamline, they are enjoying their transition. 

First year Robin Tittlebaugh says she “just likes being here.”

“I am from out of state so [living on campus] was kind of the most functional option for me because I didn’t really have any other place to stay,” Tittlebaugh said. “It’s fun! I like the environment of campus, it’s really nice to walk around.”

Roommates Haylie Magoon and Forestasia Aune agree. They both find living on campus to be functional, easy and convenient. They are equally as grateful for the fact that dorm-life brought them together.

“I was going to wait until next year to come here when I could live in the apartments, but … it just lined up so perfectly with scholarships,” Haylie said. “We started talking in the end of June or maybe even sooner and I [thought] ‘she’s awesome’ so I was really excited to be in a dorm.”

Forestasia told the Oracle that their experience was similar.

“I wanted to be in the community with someone I knew, like Hailey,” she said. “I mean after COVID you’re already so distant and that did not seem like something I wanted to do.”

Tittlebaugh, Haylie, and Forestasia all live in Sorin. They also have a mandatory all access meal plan, as all first-years do. Tittlebaugh says that it’s one of the reasons she plans on coming back next year.

“I like having the meal plan that comes with living on campus. It’s really nice to just be able to get food whenever I want without having to think about money and stuff. Especially when I have to buy other things.”

While Haylie Magoon doesn’t want to stay in a dorm next year, staying close to campus is a high priority for her. She says that it gives her an element of safety in the big cities.

“I’m from a super small town so being here is already such a huge culture shock to me,” Haylie said. 

The girls’ only qualms are with the heating their dorm provides. Both mentioned how the lack of air conditioning has been an issue for them.

“Sometimes the dorms are a little too hot for me. It makes it a little bit unpleasant to be in sometimes especially when I don’t have another place to be,” Tittlebaugh said.

Besides the lack of cool air in their rooms, these first-years welcome Hamline into their lives just as much as it welcomes them.