When I was a freshman, I was pretty sure I knew my personality type. I was not shy around new people, but I also wasn’t one to slip into any conversations either. I wanted to become more social and have a big group of friends, as I thrive around those I am comfortable with. Therefore when I was looking at dorms at UMass, I figured Orchard Hill might be a good place to build my social life.
Several people told me that OHill was the place to be if I wanted to study (and sleep) Sunday through Thursday and meet friendly people whose doors were always open. Besides one group who steadily kept their doors open and socialized, I spent the entirety of my freshman year in silence. I am a person that loves to be around people, therefore my dorm was not the greatest choice. I constantly felt like I had to be quiet, which drove me crazy.
This year my friends and I have decided that Orchard Hill is not the place for us. My friend group consists of about ten people, and none of us are exactly introverts. We’re not the loudest people, but I guess we are by OHill standards. Don’t get me wrong, our dorm is nice. The rooms are huge and everyone is friendly, however, its regularly quiet, so if you decide to watch TV with the door open on a Friday night, the RA on duty will tell you that you have to keep it down.
If you’re someone who cherishes peace and quiet, Orchard Hill is the perfect home for you. If you’re comfortable in a more social setting like I am, then it’s not going to seem perfect. Ironically, it’s gotten to the point where being an extrovert has ostracized me and my friends from other residents.
On weekends when my friends and I don’t feel like going out, we hang out in one of our rooms or one of our guy friends’ rooms playing card games or watching movies with the door open so that if someone else in our hall by some chance feels like saying hi they can. That has not happened yet, and we’ve actually received some less-than-friendly looks whenever someone walks past the room. As a fairly social person, it was confusing and hurtful getting those looks and eye rolls (yes that’s also happened several times).
And not to imply that residents in Orchard Hill are antisocial, but from what I’ve encountered, they generally have a good time in a slightly quieter way. A little over half of my friend group is boys, and they all have loud laughs, so when we all hang out together it can get noisy (again, by OHill standards). It started to get frustrating when RAs would constantly walk past and shush us, even when it was daytime and all we were doing was sitting on the floor eating Dominos.
Orchard Hill has been a great place to live because it introduced me to my closest friends. As a group of extroverts, though, we stick out like sore thumbs in our dorm, and that’s no way to live out our college lives. When the place you live becomes a source of stress, that’s when you know it’s time to move on.
So, OHill, as much as I love Sweets & More and your breathtaking view from atop the hill, I think it’s best we say our goodbyes. It’s not you, it’s me. Literally.