Written by Leanna Westerhof. DM by Rachel Koehnemann.
If you’ve lived in a college dorm, you’re familiar with being in a small space, communal bathrooms, bunk beds, people yelling down the hall, and music being played throughout the day. Living in a dorm is a unique experience that many look back on with very fond memories. However, there are many students living it right now and can’t wait to get an apartment of their own. I personally loved living in a dorm but I was also ready to move on when the time came.
I don’t know what it was like to live in a boys’ dorm but I had my share of experience living in Burritt Hall for two years. Living in a building with 199 other girls was sometimes annoying. The neighbors could get loud, people would run screaming through the hallways, (I was guilty, too) and there were plenty of maintenance issues. My freshman year, we had mice living on our floor, a bat flying through the halls, wasps, and lack of control over the heating system in the dead of winter. Many of us wandered around in shorts and t-shirts or opened the windows to find relief. To add to these little annoyances, I was packed into a three person room. While I wasn’t crazy about the tight space or occasional chaos, I wouldn’t trade any of it. I made some great memories and learned invaluable lessons about living with other people.
Some things that I miss about dorm living are meeting new people and thriving off of their energy. You could hang out at random times with whoever was available and there were plenty of movie nights in the lounges. I miss the adventures of cooking in the floor kitchen and having people stop by and ask what was being made and if they could have some! Most of all, I miss being in a community of girls that could relate to what I was going through.
Everyone yearns for a strong community but there are different types for different stages of life. A quieter community is often preferred for juniors and seniors in college. One where homework is a priority but you are still able to have fun and make the most of your 20’s. Generally, a house, apartment, Tinney/Kenney, or Mannoia is the top choice for upperclassman because that sort of community fits their current stage of life.
As Christians, and as people, we are always searching for a community that is built for our needs as we change and grow. Each community we are a part of has something to teach us and shapes us in different ways. One community could have neighbors who are noisy and annoying while another could have a quiet space where long hours are spent in the lounge talking about the deeper points of life until the wee hours of the morning. Whatever your situation, it is about spending time with people who see the world and God differently than you do and making the most of it.
So, if you are annoyed about all the stuff in your dorm room or apartment that keeps getting broken and having to call maintenance all the time, just remember that it is all part of the experience. Enjoy every minute of it!