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Emma Off The Record: Settling In

At the beginning of the summer, I wasn’t sure where I would end up in September. Would I be back in Boston, holed up in a single dorm only coming out to get food and COVID-19 tests? Or would I be right where I was at home, trying not to slip into my high school psyche?

As it turns out, I found my way back to Boston with a bit of determination and lots of luck. My first-year roommate reached out to me back in June, offering me a newly vacant spot in her off-campus apartment. It could not have been more perfect timing since at that point, I was leaning more towards the staying home route. I recognize how much of a privilege it is to have this choice and my heart goes out to those who are keeping it together in less than ideal living situations. Having a quiet, private place to study is something that everyone deserves to have, especially under these circumstances.

I am currently sharing an apartment with three other people and so far everything has gone pretty smoothly. Granted, I’ve been friends with all of them since freshman year, but with all new roommates, there’s always room for conflict. I lived in three different dorms last year partially for this reason, and let me tell you, knowing at least one person really well in your apartment/suite/etc. is the KEY to your happiness and sanity.

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Fortunately, I know all the lovely people I’m living with this year pretty well in terms of their personalities and lifestyles. I’ve had people tell me to always be careful living with close friends because you may come out on the other side not being so friendly, but I honestly think that’s mostly dependent on the way you handle tense and awkward situations. For example, this week my roommates and I got a new couch and had a half-hour debate about where it should go after we put it together. At the time, we were irritated and aching to go to bed, but we eventually came to a compromise. It’s little tense moments like these that simultaneously worry me about future conflicts but also remind me how grateful I am to be living with pretty easygoing people. That argument could have gotten a lot more sour if we didn’t know each other as well.

Other than that one rough patch, we have been getting along so well as friends-turned-roommates. We cook meals for each other, we listen to each other’s music (roommate tip: find someone with similar music taste for some instant bonding), we go on Target runs, and we take field trips to the neighborhood park to study with each other. It’s been so lovely getting to spend more time with my friends, and I also feel like I am learning more about all of them on a new level. All four of us are the kinds of people who are used to running around to different meetings and places all the time, so it’s been nice getting to spend more time with each other simply because we now all have to be home anyways.

It’s weird and slightly frightening to think that a global pandemic is partially responsible for all this bonding time, but I’m trying to focus on the silver lining. We were obviously friends before this all went down but I try not to let my mind wander too much into the ‘would it have been this way if we weren’t all stuck together like this?’ territory. We actually talked about this on our second night of living together and we all admitted that the dynamic definitely would have been different if we weren’t seeing each other so much. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing! Space is healthy, and we understand that now, even as we are sharing the same living area.

[bf_image id="qfon9s-b9caj4-7x9uda"]These past two weeks have been very hectic between putting our place together and starting classes. I managed to get my room together in just under two days and I have to say, I’m pretty happy with the little oasis I’ve created (more on that in a future post). We have a fully stocked kitchen with some semblance of a living/dining room. It’s all coming together, slowly but surely, and it is already starting to feel like our very own cozy home.

This week’s playlist definitely has a theme, which is, you guessed it: HOME! This group of tunes is pulled directly from the playlists we’ve been listening to all week as well as a few extra songs that simply remind me of settling into a new home. This apartment is full of Strokes superfans so I threw in one of my favorite songs off of their new album, The New Abnormal (how fitting). One of my roommates recently discovered the iconic bop by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, “Home,” and it’s been stuck in all of our heads for the past week (please send help). I’ve personally been listening to the new Glass Animals album, Dreamland, on repeat so I added one of my favorite mind-bending, funky tracks off of that. And to round off this warm and fuzzy group of songs, I added two Hippo Campus songs that need to be heard in order (seriously, I mean it) for the full effect, so be sure to turn off the shuffle setting when you listen to this playlist.

Listen to this week’s playlist here.

I cannot emphasize enough how lucky I feel to be living with such a cool, sweet, funny, and chill group of people. Even though the semester has just begun, I have a good feeling that we’re only going to get closer as the year progresses. To many more nights filled with pints of Talenti and early 2000’s alternative dance parties!



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Emma is a senior at BU studying Journalism and Gender and Women's Studies in the College of Communications. She's originally from sunny Los Angeles, California. She is an avid fan of local bakeries and making oddly specific Spotify playlists.
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