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Friday, May 24
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion

OPINION: The end of my dorm era

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Despite what I was told before moving into a dorm, I cherished my time at Collins LLC. The rooms were cramped, and the food could be repetitive, but I made friends here and participated in activities that made my first-year experience at IU more enjoyable. I found it easier to make friends down the hall than in my giant lecture classes. Even though I’m excited about the next chapter and living in a house with my roommate, I’ll miss my dorm era. 

Some of the negative stereotypes I’d heard were the food was terrible, you’d want space from your roommate, and dorms were disgusting. Upon arrival at IU, I was nervous about what to expect living in the dorm. What would it be like to share bathrooms in the hallway? Would I meet people who shared my interests? Would I remember to wake up to my alarm? While it took some getting used to, I quickly found that living in my residence hall opened doors to me and helped me to branch out. It was easy to walk to class. I learned to take care of myself. I found my people. And I had a whole lot of fun.   

The friends we make while living in our dorms during our first year can completely change our social structure throughout college. You meet a friend down the hall or in the coffee shop, they introduce you to their friends and your network grows. You stay up late in your room or the courtyard, getting to know each other. You head to concerts and football games. You lean on each other when school gets tough, or people get you down. You forge new bonds with people who will be part of the rest of your time at IU and, hopefully, for the rest of your life.  

Living around so many people has helped me feel more confident in social situations. Dorm life inspires daily interactions with friends and strangers. You say hi to each other in the hallways, sit at shared tables to eat and attend group activities. Sometimes, we just sit in the hallway late into the night sharing stories and laughing. While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I have really enjoyed the ability to simply walk down the hall for a hang or to bump into someone on their way home and have it turn into a whole evening of good times. 

Though I’ll miss living in the dorm, I am also looking forward to sharing the next phase of college life with the friends I’ve made at Collins in my rental house. There will be a lot more freedom and space, no quiet hours and no more dragging my shampoo down the hall. We will host dinner parties, play ping pong in our garage, turn up the music and pull the chairs outside to soak in the sun on nice days.  

It’s bittersweet to say goodbye to this part of my college life. I’m grateful to have spent the past eight months meeting friends and making memories. This year of transition in the dorm has helped to prepare me for living on my own. I appreciate the support I received while living at Collins. But I’m ready for new adventures. And I’m excited for my next era.   

Jack Davis (he/him) is a freshman studying journalism. 

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