Freedom to Dance And Other Inalienable Room Rights

I really hope no one ever goes by my window when I’m listening to music. Why? Because I will either a) be singing, or b) dancing, or c) a dramatic combination of both.

HmYes, you can dance tooJust Sing

My dance moves are akin to the awkward flailings of a seal powered by the enthusiasm of Gene Kelly. I’m not as hard core as Napoleon Dynamite, but I still tango across the common room with my roommate to The Muppets version of “The Habenera.”

For me, dancing as if no one is watching and singing as if the walls aren’t paper thin are how I get the crazy build up of tension out of my system. You know those people who jiggle their foot incessantly in class? That’s me (sorry guys!). So coming home and just belting Florence + The Machine’s “The Dog Days Are Over” or dancing to Passion Pit’s “Take A Walk” while cooking dinner is a kind of therapy.

Of course, I wouldn’t be able to do this without trusting my roommates.

Having a good room environment is essential to having a good college experience. Some people say they’re OK just being acquaintances with their roommates; it’s only a place to sleep, eat and keep your stuff, right? Well, it works for some people, but not me.

As a freshman last year, I was really freaked out about having a roommate. I have a sister, but there’s a huge age gap so I was basically raised as an only child. As move in day approached, I got more and more anxious about my roommate.

What if she thought I was weird? What if she had completely different tastes in music? What if she studied all the time, or didn’t study at all? What if Loyola’s survey screwed up and I got put with the polar opposite?

Luckily, my worrying was pointless.

Sharing an apartment with five other girls was definitely a culture shock, but it turned out to be really fun. Part of this has to do with the sense of community Loyola builds within its dorms.

I was in an Alpha class, so I lived on a floor with other Alpha/Collegium students, which provided a sense of commonality starting day one. Throughout the year, my floor kept its doors open and I got to know almost everyone in my hall. My neighbors and I would have family dinners or get together to watch Once Upon A Time or Psych. We even made a fake family tree! (If you ever hear a guy call me Nana, this is why)

Family Dinner Freshman Year! Different Familiy Dinner, but same food

Sadly, not everything was always peachy keen. My room had its moments of tension last year, and I’ve heard horror stories from friends who just didn’t click with their roommates (not just at this school).

Overall, I lucked out and had a really good roommate experience and I’m super happy it’s continuing. Yes, this year I got to choose my roommates and yes they are really good friends, but the comfort level of what is essentially my home hinges on the room dynamic.
I don’t want to give a secret recipe for success, because let’s face it, every room situation is different. But here is what allows me to dance and sing without a care in the world:

  1. The room is a judgement free zone.
  2. Conflict? Bring it up ASAP. Talking it over helps.
  3. Don’t be afraid to speak out, even if it’s to make a bad joke.
  4. You don’t have to be best friends, but it’s cool if you are.
  5. Share! Ask to share! Share without thinking! The fridge has only so many shelves.
  6. Listen. With an open mind.
  7. Hug and dance and sing.

'Cause I'm that cool (jk, I know my dance moves are ridiculous)

Fall’s Furry Friends

As soon as he said “Breathe in slowly and exhale, feel your muscles relax. Breathe in and let the stress flow away from your body,” I knew that as Friday wrapped up a wonderful weekend would begin.

I was not wrong.

You might be wondering why on earth I’d be psyched about a little meditation, but trust me, after the week I had, I was really happy the Student Leadership Corps focused on stress and time management in our weekly session.

Taking time to unwind is crucial at school; I know I sound like one of those info sessions everyone gets dragged to in high school, but it’s true. I’m usually wound up really tight (both physically and mentally) so having an evening to hang out with friends, while partaking in not quite “conventional” entertainment for 19 year olds, is really appreciated.

What might this unconventional entertainment be?


My friend turned 19 last week, so she requested we go to Build-A-Bear as celebration of this momentous event. My roommates and I met her on the East side of campus, where I noticed the trees were changing and got really distracted by the beautiful colors:

I love little inconsistencies

After a brief ride to the mall, we embarked on our journey to make new furry friends (Hey, I’m just quoting their website).
Paige, me, Nicole, and Erin

And yes, we did do the little dance/embarrassing series of hops and hand motions to ensure our bears had hearts full of love. No shame.

So much love

Here is Dr. Hiddles Holmes, one of the newest members of my room’s family.
Be jealous guys, he's a triple threat!

After eating the obligatory food court dinner and meandering through some shops, we headed home and (literally) chased down a shuttle to take us back to our dorm.

Some hours of sleep later found me yet again taking an early morning stroll to the art studio (I’m amazed my roommate hasn’t thrown a pillow at me yet for waking up at 6 on the weekends).

I love this tree by Knott HallBones are very interesting to draw...

As much as I love art, I wanted to get back to my room so we could decorate for Halloween. See, my mom sends me care packages labeled with “Do Not Open Till” leading up to various holidays (including International Talk Like a Pirate Day) so my roommates and I were pretty excited when we opened the box full of fall decorations.

So festive!

Don’t worry, the festive atmosphere didn’t go unseen by others! Students from the Alpha  Theology class I’m an Aide for came over for spaghetti dinner that night. Apparently our room has a very homey atmosphere, but is very clearly “young adult” oriented (Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory stares me down when I walk out my bedroom).

Homemade Sauce, too!!!We have so much leftover....Anyone want to come by for spaghetti?

All in all it was a pretty good weekend. Jam packed, but totally worth it. I live for those moments that seem to span an entire day when it’s only been a few hours. Sadly, those days are the most tiring, and right now it’s coming back to bite me.

Maybe I’ll put those relaxing exercises to work later this evening….