Reminiscing dorm days

Shelby Niehaus, Columnist

Sometimes I find myself missing my dorm.

Those of you who live in dorms now: save the laughter. I promise, you will miss it too. The degree will be different and the frequency will also vary, but you will miss your dorm someday.

When I come to campus for student teaching seminars, I always find myself wandering toward Ford Hall. I daydream about taking naps under the huge window, lights off in my room and basking in the sallow afternoon light between one class and another. I remember cooking in a tiny kitchen with dry goods stashed on a free blondewood shelf.

It can be hard to remember that I no longer live there.

Right now, I live with my parents in a house 10 miles from the school I teach at. Unless my mother is home, there’s never anyone in the “lobby,” our living room. No clubs commandeer the shared couch, passing out candies in exchange for social interaction. Yes, I get to opt out of the neighborly noise for the most part, but the silence can be killer.

The town library opens at two in the afternoon and closes again at 7 p.m.; where will I go to panic-research? The coffee shop is only open half the week; is there anywhere to comfortably write my essays?

Living off-campus certainly is comfortable, but there is always something missing from my life as a college student. I live so far away from everything and everyone; those days when I found a free hour to rush out to an interesting lecture or took my homework to club meetings are over. I can hardly keep in touch with my friends, who all live prohibitively far away.

With all honesty, I say that I miss my dorm some days.

Whether you like it or not, your first dorm, your second dorm, your last dorm, all those rooms will be special to you for years to come. You will remember the fairy lights around the window in Weller, the way the snow drifts onto the grass in front of Pemberton, the noise of the tiny courtyard outside of Ford. In the back of your head, you will always hear the loud music that your neighbors play. My father still hears Sultans of Swing when he takes breaks from his work, and you will always hear the gentle noise of the TV that the next room’s residents leave on all night.

The things that annoy you about your dorm now will be cherished memories someday. Those little irritations are an integral part of the student experience. What would academia be, after all, without some brilliant thesis written to the neighbors’ soundtrack?

Enjoy your time in student housing. It is short, but it is a wonderful time, and I say that with as much honesty as I can muster.

Shelby Niehaus is a senior English language arts major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].