Here we go again.
In 6 short days, classes start to begin my junior year at college. It is incredibly hard to believe that I have survived two full years of college so far. What’s even more surprising is that there are only two left. I wouldn’t say college has flown by, but I have enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to.
By their junior year, many college kids have apartments off-campus. At my college, lots of students still live in dorms through their senior year. As it happened, I moved back into a dorm yesterday. I will now explain the very detailed experience I had moving back in for my junior year of college (in an excruciatingly dramatic style).
Now, I’m going to be really honest with how I perceived move-in to go. Moving into a new place is always very stressful for me. It never has to be, but I always want to get it done as soon as possible, and that’s not always feasible. Last year, I up and left home the night before I was planning on moving in and moved in with the help of my sorority sister under the cover of night. This year, I once again tread the path alone of move-in, except with an additional obstacle: a third flight of stairs.
I’ve never lived on the third floor. Freshman year, it was the basement. Sophomore year, second floor. Now, it’s only fitting that I live on the third floor. But goodness, I did not realize how much of a difference that extra 15 feet (upwards) makes.
However, before I even begun to think about how I was going to remove the strategically placed objects in my car to pack my entire life into my Toyota Camry, I had to check out the room first. I’m living with my freshman roommate again, but I have sworn off hall bathrooms for the rest of my life. I refuse to use a hall bath now, and as such, we have a suite style bathroom. This dorm building was just renovated, so I’m expecting it to be super spacious, neat, and pretty.
Now, the room is clean. The bathroom is very clean. But spacious is not a word to describe this room. Upon first glance, I freaked out. My quickest conclusions were: How is all of my stuff going to fit here? Why aren’t there more shelves? This bed is too high. Why is there no bathtub?
This realization that we had chosen an awful room (by my standards) to live in caused me to stress out even more. I had had such great plans for this room. This was going to be THE room, the one that depicts the converging personalities of two women through its interior design and apropos wall art. But, I set my standards too high, as usual, and so I freaked out.
(Seriously though, this room is not bad. My first (and second and third) instincts were that of repulsion, disgust, and disappointment in this living situation. But it’s not a horrible room. There are smaller rooms on campus. I could be homeless. It’s all a matter of perspective.)
Once I finally trudged every last box and pillow from my car up those three flights of stairs, I started thinking about the actual arrangement of the room. The minor details of where the beds and desks will go doesn’t seem important in the grand scheme of things, but in a college as stressful as this one, I wanted to create a space that I could just come back to at 2 in the morning and easily go to bed without disturbing my already sleeping roommate. So, the furniture positions are important.
It’s currently three in the morning, and I haven’t finished arranging everything yet. My roommate doesn’t move in for a few days, so I will figure it all out then. But, after having moved in to college 3 times, I’ve learned 3 important things about myself.
- You can’t expect too much.
I always want dorm rooms to be this quasi magical dwelling, but I have to take it at face value for what it is: a dorm room. I can’t expect an amazingly comfortable living place, because this school focuses on its academics more than its amenities.
- It’s only for a year.
You shouldn’t stress out about this because you’ll only be living here for an academic year, which, in reality, is only like 7 months total. None of this is permanent, like a real house, so you don’t have to withstand this torture forever (that is the torture of sharing a bathroom with 26 other girls).
- I will never be an interior designer.
I love disgustingly preppy rooms as much as the next girl. I wished I had the skills to make everything match, be monogrammed, and force others to understand you are the queen of dorm prep. No matter how much I want it to, my bedding will never match. The pictures I put on a wall will never be straight. I will always have mismatched pillowcases and crooked pictures. But, the crooked pictures display aspects of my personality, not only with their images but in that with crookedness comes the opportunity to fix the mistake. I don’t make it crooked on purpose, it just happens. But, I can fix it. Just like in life, when we make accidental mistakes because WE AREN’T PERFECT, we can fix them. The mismatched pillows, well, I just like too many colors.
In all honesty, I prefer my furniture to boast a purposeful function rather than follow the form that creates the ultimate envy. It’s just me. In previous years I tried in vain to make everything match. I would spend hours picking out a pillowcase- and in the end it wasn’t what I wanted. So, for all you movers (and shakers) out there that have this idea of The Perfect Dorm Room in your head, just throw it out the window. Dorm rooms will never be perfect, but they are an integral part of college. It’s sad that it took three years of stressed out moving in to realize this, but hey. Everyone has lightbulb moments at different stages.
If you’re still with me after this very detailed blog post about my moving experience, I applaud you and reward you a Reese’s Cup. Except I can’t really do that, because it’s over the Internet. If you have any insights you would like to share regarding college move-in, send them my way.
Okay, since you actually read this, here are some pictures of my mismatched pillows and crooked pictures that show my diverse interests and ambitions:
The bed that will never match.
The desk that I count as clean.
If you are moving in to college for the first time today or next week, don’t worry. You’re about to have the best time of your life. If your nerves still aren’t eased, read this.