Thursday, 24 July 2014

Dorm Life

I’m living in residence!

I received news this week that I was assigned a spot in my University’s dorm. It’s a bit of relief since I won’t have to be house hunting in the middle of August and or be in charge of a lease or finding flat mates and all of the drama that brings (and joys, if one of them is reading this).

What I’m most particular about is that I’ll have a mailing address and a private room. My old place in Calgary didn't have its own mailbox and I had to keep going to the neighbors to check for my own mail which was a little strange. Did you know it’s a felony in Canada to open mail that’s not your own? I do.

As well I’ll have a kitchen and a bathroom with a real shower and not the kind that soaks half the washroom. I can start cooking again and try some of the recipes in the cookbook I got for my Birthday. There’s a meal plan as well but I don’t think I’ll use it much since I don’t want to get too pampered. Hunger is a strong motivation to get out of bed and do something with my life.

 Last but not least I’m in a dorm with international and third year student so I won’t have to bother with all of the freshmen commotion, is initiation still a thing here?

With all of this happening fairly soon I can’t help but think back to dorm 1 at BLCU. This was the oldest dorm built on campus and is still in use though most people would agree it shouldn't be. It’s sort of hard to describe exactly why but we could start with the shared bathrooms that have more in common with an outhouse, or dimly lit showers with broken handles. I had my hair turn grey from sediment matter in the old pipes so many times it stopped becoming a shock and the only water pressure options were hard or none at all.

Oddly enough our rooms were fairly wide and seemed bigger than those in other dorms which might had to do with the scarcity of objects to clutter it up. We had the basics, a desk, chair and T.V. that didn't work. 

We also had personal closets and a full length mirror left from prior tenants that attached to the back of the door. Other than a kettle, we weren't supposed to have any other electrical appliances but that didn't stop Javkhlan, my Mongolian roommate, from setting up her own little tea parlour.

We had a lot of fun together though, we experimented cooking different types of meals with a rice cooker and because we didn't have a fridge gave the extras away to friends who lived in the same complex. I think perhaps that’s one of the most defining features of dorm 1, we shared what little we had with others and with the combination of nationalities you ended up with some pretty random things. I personally received boxes of items from my New Zealand and Filipino classmates before they left, and in turn gave all my things to my Kenyan and Cameroon friends. This constant passing of items and useful appliances like toasters, hangers, and air purifiers created a sense of community. So even with the creepy stairwells, random room checks (where knocking was not a prerequisite) and frequent pest invasions I survived a year in dorm 1.

Looking ahead I don’t think my dorm life will ever get as basic as it did that one year. I like the social life of living in residence and convenience of getting to class, you meet a lot of wonderful people and since it looks like this might be my last year I want to make it one worth remembering and have people to remember it by.  

    

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