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First Year, First Hand: Dorm Life

News Story

In this month's "First Year, First Hand" column, Rachel Pusey '19 gives us a peek into what it's like living in a residence hall during your first year, from sharing stories to sharing bathrooms. It's OK, mom. We've got this!

By Rachel Pusey '19

“Do you like living in the dorms? How is your roommate? Still like them? Who is the annoying one? Well that’s normal, there is always someone like that.” And that was the beginning of my first call home to my mom.

But it really makes you think, what is it like living on a floor with at least 20 other people who you have just seen for the first time at move in? It’s always loud. Nobody, and I mean not even two people, have the same schedule or sleeping schedule.

Sharing a bathroom with another person when you are used to having your own space. You learn to be comfortable with someone using the bathroom while you’re in the shower. It gets real and really fast. Then there is always the moment that you have to learn each other's boundaries and if you can share face wash or if you just have to have the same kind but your own labeled bottle. Sharing a bathroom is when you really get to know your roommate…for sure.

One of the best parts about living in a residence hall is when you become really good friends with people on your floor. When you all want to go out together it is so much easier to get back home together. Whenever you’re upset you can just stroll down the hallway and knock on your friend’s door and boom, instant friendship. I think that’s when you really know who your friends are in the first month of college. You learn who will help take care of you when you’re homesick or physically sick. You learn who will always be annoyed when you complain about a class. You learn who really values you because they usually come knocking on your door at one in the morning when the night went terribly and all they need is someone to tell them it’s okay and that they are gonna be fine.

Honestly, during my first week I never thought I would be friends with the people that I hang out with now. I never thought I would be friends with the people I thought were so different and frustrating to me at the first floor meeting. I definitely didn’t think I would miss them as much as I did the first weekend that I went off campus.

Living in a residence hall is an experience like no other. You bond with the people you thought you never thought you would talk to. You learn that sometimes everybody needs a stand-in mom. You learn how to live with someone else who has a completely different schedule than you do and even though it can be hard, you make it work. There is never a guarantee that you will love the people you live with or the people on your floor, but you do learn what it is like to be around all of those people and that is one of the biggest growing experiences you will ever have in college. Learning to live with everyone else.