“Don’t judge anyone, but don’t trust everyone.” – Lady Gaga
The Grand Finale
If you need to refresh your memory of Part I in this two-part series, click here.
My First Year of College
I can understand why universities had dorms, say, in Medieval England, when one had to travel all the way to Oxford to get an educated – there were no highways back then, no airlines, no way of visiting home. When you went to school, you stayed there.
After the introduction of apartments in the 1800s, and McMansions in the 1950s, a student can rent a decent place near the campus of his or her choosing if it’s far enough away from home, right? Wrong. It’s the twenty-first century, and dorms are still a due for freshmen everywhere to pay. Even my friend, who goes to University of Denver all of fifteen minutes away from where we live, was forced to live on-campus her freshman year.
Dorm enthusiasts argue that the dorms are an invaluable life experience, but I counter that sharing a room – a room – with a stranger, a room that functions as a bedroom, a bathroom, an office, a kitchen, and a living room, all at once, is not something anyone can realistically expect from their future, certainly not someone with a Bachelor’s Degree. My roommate wasn’t a problem, but, if you live in such conditions with anyone, anyone, good or bad, for tenth months, you stop feeling like roommates and start feeling like cellmates.
I could’ve grinned and bore it, through sweating myself to sleep in the hotter months, through giving up TV because there was no space for one, through pretending to feel at home, through all of it, if it weren’t for our neighbors. Just because somebody is voting age, just because somebody is old enough to enlist in the military, just because somebody is a high school graduate in pursuit of a higher education, doesn’t mean they’re going to be mature.
Dorm drama was twofold for me, since I lived in a learning community. To begin with, college kids, whose parents can afford to pay the tuition, tend to come from sheltered backgrounds. Even worse are the ones who apply to live at a learning community because they’re more book smart than street smart and it sounds right for them. Combine these, and you get people who cry if they think you rolled your eyes at them, people who tell you to spend time with them instead of asking if you want to (and it’s always what they want to do), people who take you for granted and expect you to be okay with it whenever they do something horrible to you; they feel entitled to it.
This one girl left her phone in a study room to record me talking about her behind her back. Do you know what she caught me saying? Not a thing. When I asked this other girl to give me some personal space, she claimed that I befriended her because she had a car, and I allegedly used her for rides to Target. As much as I live for all things Target, I didn’t call off the friendship because I found someone better to chauffer me there, believe it or not.
I sat there and let my nose bleed during Les Miserables because it’s my best friend’s favorite movie and I didn’t want to miss any of it. I’m not one to do what my dorm neighbors accused me of doing.
Through it all, I became more assertive and confident, I became more self-aware of my negotiable and non-negotiable boundaries, and I learned not to let any of it upset the balance between my personal life and my scholastic life. If I had it in me to survive my freshman year with a decent enough GPA for me to graduate a year early, then it was silly of me to ever be nervous about college.
Thank you for reading. If I wasn’t able to write about it, I’d be dead inside (just kidding!… I think).
Paws up, and go Rams.
With the LSC under the knife, the Rocky Mountain Student Media Corporation is fully operational, off-campus on College and Laurel, across the street from CSU!