LIVING ON CAMPUS: MORE THAN JUST A GOOD TIME
Ever wondered what it would be like to live on campus? Endless drinking, partying and running amuck, right? Wrong! There's actually more to living on campus than you'd expect and it's quite different from an episode of Dawson's Creek.
My move into college was very transitional. I needed to take on responsibility and start making my own decisions away from my family. I was looking forward to having unlimited freedom and welcomed the opportunity to make new friends. Unexpectedly, I was thrust into O-week activities before I even had a chance to unpack my belongings. It was fun in the beginning: I had met a group of interesting people, attended the yearly 'toga' party and experienced my first taste of UDL's. I even found amusement in being woken up at 4am and being forced to walk to the nearest McDonald's in my pyjamas. I started settling in and things were great. Getting used to sharing unisex bathrooms was difficult. While I soon got over the embarrassment of walking down the hallway in a towel, I just couldn't get used to taking a shower while some guy in the next cubicle passed a bowel movement!
That aside, it was nice to congregate in the floor kitchen every night while everyone ate their tea and sat on the sofas in front of the TV. That was until the kitchen was infested with cockroaches because a few people decided that they would rather leave their grotty dishes in the sink for days instead of washing them. I also had to invest in a twenty-year-old bar fridge from a guy upstairs because my milk kept getting stolen from the one in the kitchen even though I had my name on it. Added to this were the sleepless nights. Partying on Friday and Saturday nights was one thing and something to look forward to during the week. But it seemed that every night was an excuse to break out the grog. There would be people screaming and running up and down the hallway, banging on people's doors at all hours of the morning. I would wake up every morning with a terrible migraine and then tread cautiously or otherwise end up stepping in a pile of vomit, usually left as a souvenir from the night's drunken revelries. The final straw came when one night before my 8am-lab class, some idiots thought it would be hilarious to set off the fire alarm at 3am, only to find that they couldn't turn it off.
It was no wonder that by the time second semester rolled around, I had packed my things and moved into a place on my own where I was guaranteed a decent night's sleep and could leave the milk in the fridge without it being stolen. At this point you're probably thinking that I was just a big geek who couldn't handle a good time. Truth is, living on campus wasn't a holiday for me like many others. While other people were coasting by on their parents' money, I had to pay rent on my own and hold down two part time jobs to do it. Added to this was the fact that I like my own space, privacy and peace and quiet. So what I had was a bad combination, doomed from the beginning.
I guess what I am trying to say is that living on campus is not all it's cracked up to be and you should seriously evaluate your circumstances and preferred lifestyle before you go jumping into it. I only wish I had realised this. It might have saved me a lot of headaches and given me a chance to actually enjoy my first few months at Uni.
- Danielle Chirico