Time Magazine has an interesting photo essay on the history of dorm life. I remember in undergrad how great I thought my dorm room was because it had a bathroom that only 3 other girls had to share, especially because the other dorm on campus had a only one large bathroom on every floor of the building.
Things are even sweeter for students today. The most recent dorm built on my campus is like a mini apartments where the students get their own room and share a living room/kitchen/bath with 2 other people. Not surprisingly there is a waiting list to get into the new dorm.
I can't help but wonder, however, if giving students so much privacy is good for the college community. Part of being a college student is learning about to co-exist with others, even those with radically different viewpoints, lifestyles. Isn't making dorm life so non-interactive really doing a disserve to students? Will have to figure out on the job site how to get along with others? Could there be a surge in the divorce rate among college graduates if they don't share a room with another human being until marriage?
I do hope that college's are creating a generation of self-centered and ego-driven people by making dorm life so comfortable for them.
The Evolution of the College Dorm - Photo Essays - TIME