This morning my alarm went off at 6:45am, but I was already up because I was stressin for my psyc exam. I finished the soy milk (which is actually soy juice, but they don’t call it that because no one would buy soy juice – weird right?) in our fridge with the last of my Kashi cereal and I left the dorm for my social psychology exam. It was okay…I only need a high C on the final to maintain an A- in the class, so I think I’m good. I was still trippin over some of the less logical questions like this one:
Rebecca’s friend Marie is planning on potentially going to New York for the weekend, but she is still unsure. Which of the following should Rebecca consider to determine whether or not Marie will go to New York for the weekend?
a) Marie’s attitude in regards to New Yorkers
b) Marie’s intention to go to New York
c) Marie’s attitude toward travel
d) Marie’s intention to travel this weekend
I mean, I don’t know if I’m missing something, but I have no idea where this came from. I think I picked b or d. Regardless, the exam went fairly well I think.
After my exam, I submitted my final linguistics solution, changed the grade base for my cultural studies class so it can count toward my minor, and then had my last dining hall experience with Eva. I will not miss the dining hall at all. Literally. At all. But that is discussed below.
Then we went to Publika, because they are giving out free teas as they are the winner of the Grapevine Award for best tea and best coffee, so yay. I’m sitting on the sidewalk of 4th St, drinking my iced pomegranate black tea with pearls and 30% sugar, chillin in the sunshine, typing away on my extremely over-heated laptop.
I remember around March of last year, before I had received most of my college rejection letters, I was in the car with my dad and we were talking about where I was going to go to college. We were joking about the ridiculous name of Dinkytown, and he said, “Well, we know you screwed up if you end up in Dinkytown.” I’m not sure if he was right or not – if I really did screw up or if I just ended up here by default. Either way, it’s been the good kind of year that I am capable of having.
This will now be my final review of living in a dorm as per my experience.
It sucks and I don’t recommend it if you’re at all like me. For some people, it is the saving grace of their freshman year. It is how they make friends, and they get to have a “real college experience.” I thought I was going to have that too.
The problem for me is that I overestimated my normalcy. I’m not saying I’m weird in a cool, special, unique way, because in pretty much every way you can be considered “exciting and unique,” I am just like everyone else. But in other ways, I just don’t value the same things, and I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I have a pretty unruly sense of independence as a result of having attended 6 schools in 6 years. Because of this, I wanted really badly to have a super normal college experience in Minnesota – one of the most normal, vanilla places ever. Not so much because I wanted to be like everyone else, but more because I just wanted to be on an even playing field and have the same experiences as everyone else.
The problem is, like I said, that I overestimated the amount of happiness I can derive from the same experiences that make other people happy. I thought living in a dorm, going to football games, and getting shwasted at house parties would make me happy because they were very normal things that everyone else loved, but they don’t make me happy. They didn’t. At all. And I started to realize this as I met different kinds of people toward the very end of my first semester. More mature, interesting people who were the type of cool that I am very much drawn to.
I’m happy I did these things because I now can say that I at least tried to live a life outside of my oddly shaped bubble, but all of the individuals who I now call friends were discovered while doing things that actually make me happy. (Except Eva. We met online. Ah Facebook.)
So yes, I tried really hard to convince myself that I loved living in the dorms, but I didn’t, and I began to come to terms with this at around Christmas time. These are the reasons why I think it sucks for someone like me:
1) I am quite a hypocrite, and I have accepted this. As in, I love my tattoos, but I probably won’t like yours. I also love my dog, but I probably won’t like yours. I also, however, like being in a clean environment. An organized, trash-free environment. 2/3 of my roommates didn’t feel this way. I will leave it at that because I don’t believe in publicly bashing people. Insert frustration here.
2) I like playing music pretty much all the time. When I wake up, when I am doing homework, when I am cleaning, when I am showering, when I am walking somewhere, when I am falling asleep, all the time. It’s hard to do that when some of the people who you are living with don’t feel the same way.
3) I hate TV and believe that it has no place in the lives of mobile individuals. Go live something.
4) I don’t like eating dining hall food. Now, I can’t complain too much because my dorm has some of the best dorm food I have heard of, and I have very few horror stories. The problem is that everything except for the salad is really, really unhealthy. Even the smoothies are made with yogurt containing high fructose corn syrup, and never have I ever seen a whole grain in the dining hall. So I ended up eating salad all the time, which is fine, but every now and then there would be a bug in my salad. I mean it’s really not that hard to use a salad spinner, guys. Also, I really do enjoy cooking for myself, which is exceedingly difficult in a dorm.
5) I don’t dislike communal bathrooms for the reason that they are shared and I have to bring all of my shit with me whenever I shower (but I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been too lazy to find everything so used Dr. Bronner’s as…everything). I dislike them because every time I had to pee or shower or brush my teeth or whatever, I had to face the world. I passed the library, where lots of people congregate for various reasons. I passed the kitchen, and had watch people burn the shit out of their chicken wings. I passed 7 dorms, so hello to all of you. And, on weekend mornings, I passed tour groups. Only twice, however, have I had to fumble with my keys while standing wet, in my towel, at my door, in the middle of a tour group. Good morning guys. Come to the U. But the only thing between my wet body and your eyes is a rectangle of fabric, so please avert your eyes. Thanks.
6) The only space on the entire campus that I could call mine was my bed, my desk, my dresser, and my wardrobe. That’s it. The ground next to my bed was not mine, that was public space as far as I was concerned, so I had to make sure I treated is as such so as not to piss off my loving roommate. I just get a little claustrophobic knowing that the only space that I can dominate and say, “No, no. You no enter,” is approximately 25 square feet.
7) I have my own schedule, and I really don’t like having to consider someone else’s. CALL ME CRAZY AND SELFISH, but I like to kind of do whatever I want whenever I want, and I had much, much more freedom to do that last year while living with my parents than I did this year while living, ehem, “alone.” It’s just hard for me to not be able to completely control my environment.
8) I think that’s it…yeah I think so. Basically, dorms just didn’t really work out for me. Not my thing.
Thus, next semester, I am living in campus apartments. Yes, it is still university student housing, but none of the above reasons for my displeasure with dorm living apply to the apartments, so I hope it will work out nicely.