Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Tornad-Ode to Dorm Life

"I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself."
 -Maya Angelou

"Attention. A tornado warning has been issued -- seek shelter immediately."

A disembodied voice reverberates across campus. The kid who pitches a tent and smokes hookah beneath the elevated walkway in bad weather packs up; a girl coming back from the gym darts, shoes in hand, through the swamp that was my hall's courtyard two days ago; the alarm announcing the impending tornadoes sounds straight out of Silent Hill, awakening me from my safe and peaceful cat nap.

I love thunderstorms more than anything, especially ones that show up on an afternoon perfect for lounging near a window, protected by an empty schedule from facing the elements directly.

Just a minute ago, I was in my bed and now I sit cozily perched in my friend's. That's what I'll miss about dorm life: the proximity of possibility. It's the never knowing what could happen because there's always people around, even a night-in has potential to produce anecdotes worthy of re-telling. A wedged-open door could bring anything when you live with a couple hundred almost-strangers. My home is a hallway away from my best friends' floor. Loneliness just isn't even a thing because I'm never alone for long. Which, on one hand, can be read with an inflection of exhaustion: I'm never alone. Because, yeah, I like my space. But also, there's comfort in the tradition of stumbling into the room with my roommate and falling into our respective beds. Being jerked awake by the barging entrance of someone from down the hall. Getting locked out of the suite-style shared bathroom.* I like people and being forced to live with so many inspires so much friendship that wouldn't spawn in any other environment. (It brought me my former-RA, current-BFFL, Erin, who I probably wouldn't have met otherwise. Eternally grateful to the dorm gods.) It's gross and weird and a germ's freaking wet dream, but it's a unique situation to this time in my life and that's cool. We bond because we have to, we're stuck together; We're all scared and tired and invested far more in television shows than our homework. I bet Zac Efron has some choice words about this.

It's been nice and I'll miss it. Much love, Res Housing.

...But also obviously I'm excited to have my own room again, let's be real.

*Yeah, no. I won't miss that at all. Even if it is relatively easy to jimmy it unlocked.

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