It is the end of the beginning, until next time that is. Since last Fall, many of you guys have been following my adventures (or perhaps lack of) during my first year of college. Based by seeing the titles of a few of my posts alone, one could easily see that this school year has been a real eye-opener for me– A brand new experience.
I’ll refrain from rambling about the things I normally do when discussing my new school life. Indeed I feel more grown up than ever and I had a lot of “firsts” this year, but in this post I will be focusing on my residence during all of this. See, my university provides on-campus apartments, which is pretty nice as far as university housing goes. I mean, each apartment has a four lockable bedrooms, a washer/dryer set, a kitchen, and two bathrooms. Even though they built a new residence hall this year which the university has been boasting about, compared to the oddly sterile feel of the dorms, the apartments have a much more… Homely feel to them. (Geesh, Not only are the dorms cramped with paper thin walls, they also have a tiled floor instead of carpet!)
At any rate, as I walk through our humble apartment, it feels as if it were only yesterday when I knocked at the door, eager to meet my room mates in person. If I take a moment to actually reflect at all the things that have went on in the apartment however, I am able to look back at the experience as one that I will cherish (even though I did not feel like that at times). In fact, it is a little sad to see the apartment bare like this. Though the cycle continues I suppose; We started with an empty apartment, we end with an empty apartment… It is merely a vessel that watches us struggle through and overcome the first year of college.
Admittedly however, as romantically I depict our apartment in the above paragraph, you would hardly think so if you looked at it. See, our apartment had the distinction of being the most filthy habitation out of my friends. (With my room an exception of course!) In fact, as I borrowed my friend’s camera to preserve it’s appearance in it’s natural state, I told her that our apartment “is like a work of art… One of those which are so shocking/ugly that it passes as artwork.” The mess is not so much a result of my room mates being slobs than the fact that everyone in the apartment is apathetic. I mean, for the longest time, we had a bunch of random boxes littering the living room (from when we were trying to build a couch out of boxes since we had no furniture)… We ultimately cleaned it when the Peer Advisor had to come to our apartment to write up our RoomMate Agreement.
Accordingly, you can apply the same tendencies to the rest of out apartment. Most of the “afflictions” of our apartment did not apply to me luckily– My parents bought me an unlimited pass at our dining hall so I never used the kitchen and I would hardly spend time in the common areas due to my reclusive nature. My room would stay clean though… I am basically a workaholic and I just cannot work in a messy environment. If I try, I feel like I am in a junk yard and fall asleep. (Weird I know! But I know my body!) Thus, my room gets cleaned every weekend unless there are exams looming on the horizon. In this case, Le Chatelier‘s principle takes over and papers steadily accumulate in my room until I clean it all at once.
Don’t get me wrong though! My room mates were pretty great and I could have gotten much worse (like pot-smokers or something). They aren’t perfect of course, but in general they were the types that don’t let their problems affect the people around them. I mean, one of my room mates has a room that is the messiest sector of the apartment and the other one arrives home drunk at night. Neither (for the most part) spread their fail-ness to others in the apartment (namely me) or affect them much. I am grateful for this.
In fact, I have many fond memories of the three of us (the fourth room mate is hardly home) and a couple of our friends/neighbors just lounging in the living room and conversing for hours. These sessions would always be spontaneous and almost always late at night (sometimes going to around 2AM). We never talked about anything special (just generic school stuff and plans) but just sitting and enjoying the presence of each other really gave a sense of closeness. Sometimes my parents have difficulty understanding attachments to classmates outside of the classroom, but spending time with each other like that just goes to show how close one can grow to someone in college. At the very least, I will be keeping touch with one of my room mates, my neighbor, and my friend from the building over for a very long time.
Oh well, it was bound to come to an end sooner or later. Two more exams, a day to place my stuff in a storage, a super clean-up day for our apartment, and my first year in college will be over. After Summer, the cycle will start again. I will be living with my [current] neighbor in a two bedroom apartment with my friend from the building over still a few buildings over. Things will change, but I am confident that some things will comfortably stay the same.