This year, I took a huge chance that many girls would be extremely reluctant to take: I lived with boys. Sophomore and junior year I lived with four other girls (all of whom I love so very much: shout out 205 ladies!), so this was a huge change. I traded an apartment full of Vera Bradley and bedazzled picture frames for one with Copenhagen and posters of trout – a learning experience to say the least.
In my apartment, there are four girls and two boys as well as a frisky golden doodle pup, and the apartment upstairs has five more boys who are basically our roommates. Though this was often a hectic environment, I would not trade this experience for the world since I know that I will likely never have a living arrangement like this again. I say this despite my many lost shoes and various other items that disappeared in what we refer to as “the black hole” that is apparently in our apartment. One time I walked into our apartment only to find that a huge camping tent had been set up by the boys in the middle of our living room. The tent stayed up for over a week, so obviously, a TV was set up inside the tent, and we had many sleepovers and meals there.
The fellas who I lived with this year are truly the best, and they have taught me much more than they would think. Here are some of the lessons I learned from living with boys:
I feel that it is pretty accurate to say that boys are more assertive than girls. Being around this was highly motivating and has pushed me to speak my mind and express my emotions. Girls are often pressured to just flit around, look pretty and let everything fall into place. However, after spending a year around so much testosterone, I am so happy to say that when I’m mad or if I want something, you are now much more likely to know.
Go Outside More
Before this year, I had no idea the array of outdoor activities you could do in and around State College. One night my roommate Paul asked me if I wanted to go fishing with him in the morning. I had no idea that was even an option, but apparently, there are several places in the area you can go fishing. Paul also just casually takes the dog on five mile hikes sometimes — I’m not exactly certain where. The boys are always being active outside, doing things like golfing and running. This has actually encouraged me to get back into running and has heightened my interest in trying different activities.
Eat What You Want
One time I asked Paul, “How can you eat so many burritos?” and his answer was “I do what I want.” This seemingly dumb interaction actually led me to think about how girls calorie count and have a deadly fear of carbs when they really shouldn’t. While eating well is something that is important to me, at the end of the day, I don’t want to be on my death bed wishing I had eaten more mac and cheese bites in my life. Bring on the burritos, baby!
One thing that really stood out to me about being around the boys so much was how much they appreciate each other’s company. When they are hanging out, they’re not locked onto their phones gossiping about other people, rather, they are paying attention to each other, having good conversations and being playful. Observing this behavior has led me to be more aware of my own behavior and hopefully has enhanced my engagement with people. This is something that I will carry with me forever.
To everyone in apartments 5 and 10, I love ya! This year wouldn’t have been the same without you all, even if someone (Seth) always ate our leftovers without asking. We are now all graduated seniors, but I’m not worried in the slightest because I know we will keep in touch. My roommates are hard workers, and I’m so excited to see the awesome things that they end up doing with their lives.