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The Comfort of Home: Things We Took For Granted Before Living In the Dorms

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSB chapter.

Let’s admit it – we love living in Santa Barbara with its near-perfect weather, vibrant and upbeat atmosphere, and some of our best friends. It’s almost like being on summer vacation year-round, except we have to go to class (ugh) and study for those midterms that seem to pop out of nowhere. But for the most part, Isla Vista is just too good to be true, and we are constantly reminded of this when sharing a box of Freebirds nachos with good company or watching the sun set over the Pacific Ocean. These are times when we just never want to leave!

However, upon visiting home during breaks and occasional weekends, I noticed that there have been several things we took for granted living at home before moving into the dorms. Here are the things I miss most:
#1. Not Having to Wear Shower Shoes.
Shared showers can get gross pretty fast. To avoid the risk of getting a serious case of Athlete’s Foot, investing in shower shoes is the way to go for many. However, this makes it fairly difficult to lather up your feet. Plus, the walk from the shower back to your dorm room is always a squeaky one. When bathrooms aren’t as private as you’re used to at home, the effort of cleanliness just turns into one huge hassle.
#2. Replenishing Fridge.
Living with your family (especially if you have ravenous younger siblings) means a stocked fridge, aka a never-ending supply of food. In the dorms, the only refrigerators we can use are a quarter of the size of the ones at home (or even less). Not only that, we need to actually go out and buy the food that we want to put in it – we can’t mooch off the ice cream that mom bought for the whole family to share anymore.
#3. Having Only One Alarm to Wake Up To.
Whether you love having roommates or hate it, the worst thing about having to share a room with people who have completely different schedules from you is waking up to the sound of your roommates’ alarms…for their 8 ams…when you don’t have class until 2 pm.
#4. Not Getting Sick Every Other Weekend.
Living in such close proximity to so many other people, using communal restrooms, sharing more things than you are used to – I don’t know exactly what it is, but if it’s not one group of my hall mates, another group has come down with the sore throat, coughing, and sniffles. And if you think you’ve just finished recovering from that terrible cold you had last week, don’t be surprised if the wave of cold and cough comes and hits you again for round 2. I swear I haven’t been sick for more than twice a year at home, whereas dorm life has so far had me constantly combating cold after cold.
#5. Breathing.
No, really. The dorms are filled with all kinds of strange odors, whether it be the smell of microwaveable popcorn, body odor, the infamous smell of the lagoon, or something completely unidentifiable. Regardless, the stuffiness of the res halls and whatever else gets mixed into the air makes it hard to breathe freely…and comfortably.
Allison is a Global Studies major at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is the Assistant Editor at Her Campus UCSB a contributor to the chapter's Instagram, @hercampusucsb. Allison believes that life is about balances, but that you can never have too many breakfast burritos. You can follow Allison's personal Instagram at @allycnco for life around Santa Barbara, good eats, and travels!
Rachel is a senior at UC Santa Barbara and studies Communication and Global Peace and Security. Rachel is from a small, beautiful town in southern California called Palos Verdes. However, Palos Verdes is just one of the many places Rachel has lived. Rachel spent her childhood moving and traveling all over the world, living in places such as Indianapolis, Indiana; Santiago, Chile; Vienna, Austria; and Orlando, Florida. Rachel has found her heart and her home in California, choosing to spend her college years in sunny Santa Barbara. However, Rachel continued her wanderlust when she studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain in Fall 2012. At UCSB, Rachel is an immensely dedicated and involved member of her sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma, where she held the positions of Panhellenic Delegate, Inter-Greek Counselor, Rho Gam, and a member of the Nominating Slate. Best Buddies, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, is a passion of Rachel's, as she is their Social Media Coordinator as well as an active and proud member. As a member of the Lambda Pi Eta Communication Honors Society, Rachel is able to implement her prowess and affinity for communication and communication-related issues. When Rachel is not writing, participating in Kappa events, or volunteering, you can find her in the gym, on the soccer field, watching Modern Family, or cooking. Rachel's love for sports, food, and writing often times go hand-in-hand, as one may see in her weekly blogs. For the past two summers, Rachel has been freelance writing for the Los Angeles Times, and hopes to continue her career pursuit of journalism after she graduates. Rachel is elated to be a part of Her Campus's fabulous team and loves every moment of it!