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I Spent the Beginning of My Semester from One Place to Another

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UFL chapter.

I still can’t believe I’m in my room.

There are no more boxes piled in a corner ready for my next move. Instead, my clothes are now folded in the closet, and my things are already in their place. Less than two months later, I am living in the apartment I had only seen through renditions and pictures.

And though I officially moved-in, few of my things are still scattered around different places. Often, I wonder if I left things behind at the hotel I was staying in.

This is the kind of anxiousness I faced.

The beginning of my semester was full of instability, along with hundreds of students who were and continue to be in the same situation.

Throughout Gainesville, there are two apartment complexes people heard much about: Sweetwater and UFORA. The two apartments were supposed to be done in time for the new semester, but were not.

And I could tell you many things that contributed to the delays, but this is not about that. This is about the anxiety provoked by not knowing where you’re headed next.

The complex provided us with everything: accommodations, reimbursements or credit if you chose it. The uncertainty was the only thing they could not help with.

Whenever you begin something new, you have to adjust. For college students, that means each semester. We have new schedules through which we have to accommodate our lives. It takes time to develop a routine and a lot of repetition.

“Repetition serves as the foundation for the establishment of new habits,” Armando Rios said in an article for Medium.com about how repetition creates human habits. “The more we repeat a behavior, the more likely it is to become ingrained in our daily routine,”

And though I had the time, I did not have the security to do so.

“It’s only temporary,” I would repeat to myself. “I’m going to move-in soon.”

Hence, every pre-existing wish to mark my rituals was overrode. I did not have a routine, and I lost any sight of my previous one.

The day I moved in, the sky was cloudy as if it was announcing the rain that never came. At almost 8 a.m., the Uber finally arrived and the ride to my future home began. Only my bag and I were in the back. I did not have the luxury to bring my stuff because I had class at 9 a.m., one hour after my move-in appointment.

I arrived, picked up my key and headed inside to take a look. In awe, I mouthed to myself, “It is beautiful.”

The lobby’s resemblance of a luxurious hotel was evident with its decoration and light pink colors. A guy even compared it to Barbie’s Dreamhouse in the Snapchat group chat. But its appeal was not my number one priority when choosing this complex. Instead, it was the fact I needed something closer to campus because I did not have a car.

I took the elevator passing by the large table in front of the fireplace. The ring of the elevator announced my floor. I headed to my apartment where my key did not work and had to come back later to a door without a doorknob. A few days later, the problems were things of the past. But I still had to wait for a few days to fix my stuff because I had things to do.

And on Thursday, it was finally my first night fully settled down.

“I am already here, Mom, and most of my stuff too,” I said to my mom in the other line of the phone. “I still can’t believe it took this long.”

“But look at it the other way around,” she said. “It was worth it.”

In my mind, I began to add the time lost and the money spent. I remembered the night I slept with the hotel’s TV on the Weather Channel because of Hurricane Idalia and when I had to find a place to stay because hotels were booked for the weekend. Or the times I fought against myself to remain patient and not lose it.

Those days added more to the picture than what I realized.

My stuff might be in order right now, but that does not mean I am, like many students who continue to face this situation.

And I could not help myself to think this was a question from a job interview that I had to answer.

But I still replied to my Mom: “No, it was not.”

Mariana is a journalism student at the University of Florida. She's passionate about storytelling. In her free time, you can find her reading a book, working out or binge-watching Netflix.