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The Daily Illini

Dorm life can bring friendships and infestations

By Harrison Lindholm, Staff writer

Living in a college dorm is an experience unlike any other.

There is much to learn about the world around you, as well as about yourself. As someone who has spent almost two years living in the dorms, not only have I heard the many horror stories of nasty roommates and unclean bathrooms, but I have experienced them first-hand. I know someone whose roommate urinated and vomited in his closet, and then proceeded to not clean it up. I know someone else who could not handle living with their roommate, and decided to move out during the semester.

The worst experience I had in my dorm happened late one night. I had decided I would take a shower. I grabbed my towel and put on my shower shoes. I walked down the hall and into the bathroom. All of the lights were off, and I had an inkling of what was to follow. With one hand on my towel, I reached out and flicked the light switch. Milliseconds later, light flooded the room, revealing one very large, black oval, which immediately scuttled away from me. The cockroach had gone directly into the showers.

Alone, a scream hung at the base of my throat, but it could not climb out of my mouth. What came out was somewhere between a moan and the sound a poorly played trumpet makes. I mustered what courage I had, and decided I must put an end to the cockroach. I slipped one of my shower shoes off and hobbled on one foot to massacre my enemy.

I must have looked like a true fool. I had one hand holding my towel up (so the cockroach wouldn’t see me in the nude), one hand holding my sandal above my head, and my right leg risen so my bare foot wouldn’t touch the putrid blue tiles of Weston Hall. I smacked and smacked at the poor bug, until he was no more. After this visceral experience, I turned the water on, and washed the insect’s blood off my hands.

This was the worst experience of my life in the dorms. But, on a less violent note, finding a place to relax and be alone is an unsettling prospect of dorm life. Everyone needs to have time to themselves. Even the most enthusiastic, giddy, bubbling extrovert must have time to unwind and enjoy solitude. The way most dorms are designed makes it difficult to find a place to rest and unwind. If your roommate is home, then you must go somewhere else, and what if you go to the lounge and people are there? My answer is to go and enjoy a stroll. I find that I enjoy the alone time while I am walking around campus, but it would be much easier if I had a room to myself.

Residence halls are not all that bad. It is much easier to think of all the negatives rather than the positives. There are an amazing amount of experiences the residence halls offer a new student. The people in the hall you first move into are going to be the first people you get to know at the University. Often, new friendships form with the people who all live in the same building with you. You can gain friends that will last your entire life. It is a blessing, and since you can just knock on friends’ doors and hang out with them, it’s hard to ever be bored.

Harrison is a sophomore in ACES.

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