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