As a freshman in college, I was terrified to move into a triple with two strangers. We had discussed our hometowns, who could bring which appliance and most importantly who deserved which bed. After living with 5 sisters for 18 years, I accepted my assignment to the top bunk (nearly rolling onto the floor each night). On move-in day, space quickly became limited. Clothes filled the closet, leaving me with only a hook for my towels. Food was crammed onto our shelves, causing me to keep a snack drawer in my desk. I was overwhelmed. Even while being surrounded by people, I felt lonely.
After living with my roommates for a week, I began to feel comfortable in my new home. We shared food, water, paper and even our beds. The atmosphere of my dorm room coincided with the liveliness of my crowded home outside of college. With friendliness and consistent sharing, the appreciation I had for my roommates paralleled to that of my sisters.
However, with a tragedy in the family of one of my roomates, she decided she needed to leave Augustana and return home for support. I knew I would miss her company, but I knew she made the decision best for her. Knowing the strength of the friendship we had formed, my roommate had left cleaning supplies, fans, extension cords and water bottles for my use. My room was now ⅓ empty. She had even removed her name tag from the outside of our door.
Another week had passed by. Now only living with one roommate, we constantly watched out for each other. If one of us stayed out late, we’d be expecting a message from the other. Although, with the humidity, heat and lack of air conditioning, my roommate needed to move out for medical accommodations. My room was now ⅔ empty. Only one name tag remained on the outside of our door.
I realized the company of great friends had livened our room: not the overabundance of appliances, food and clothes. Even though I was the one remaining in the dorm, I felt as if I had moved away from my sisters again. The liveliness had vanished.After avoiding my room (only utilizing it for sleep) my parents had sent some essentials for livening a dorm. My room became littered with my artwork on the walls, faux fur carpets, quirky throw pillows, and all of my favorite blankets.
With remnants of my hometown scattered in my dorm, I began to actually consider it a new home again. However, I know now that the only way to truly liven a space is to fill it with good company.