Freshman ‘15: Your dorm is where the heart is

Opinion by Bianca Chavez
Nov. 7, 2011, 12:27 a.m.

Freshman ‘15: Your dorm is where the heart isI’m adding “dorm living” to the long list of things I pink-puffy-heart love (it’ll go right under glitter, reality television and baking).

For one, it’s never boring. Ever. Even at 2 a.m. on a Wednesday, you’ll find people rolling summersaults down the hallways. It’s like having a giant sleepover every night of the week — complete with pillow fights, giggling and plenty of junk food. (Holla, freshman ‘15!)

Living in a dorm is like instantly becoming part of a network more supportive than Victoria Secret’s BioFit bra. Whether you’re looking for someone to edit your IHUM paper (1,900 words on John Locke? Ew, gross.) or just an amigo to watch “Boy Meets World” with (I see you, Cory Matthews!), it’s always super easy to find a buddy — just walk down the hall and look for the first open door.

But what’s the real difference between your dormmates and all your other friends? They see you when your life isn’t a bucket of rainbows and unicorns and ‘90s sitcoms. When the midterm you studied so hard for turns out to be a complete Fail Mary and you’re ready to fling yourself off Hoover Tower, they’re the ones who talk you off the ledge. When you’re clinging to your recycle bin after eight consecutive shots of Smirnoff Watermelon, they’re standing right behind you holding your hair. And the next morning, they’ll happily remind you of all the ridiculous things you said/did. (Remember that time you tried to do the “Coyote Ugly” bar dance on the tables at Kappa Alpha? Or that time you hooked up with a guy who you thought looked like Brad Pitt but actually resembled Regis Philbin? They do.)

But living in such a supportive community isn’t always like eating a cake full of puppies and smiles; it also comes with responsibilities. It’s about taking care of each other — even when it’s inconvenient, annoying and/or disgusting. When you’re stumbling down the Row and you see one of your hallmates slumped over in a bush, you are ethically obligated to make sure they aren’t, you know, in mortal peril or anything.

When your neighbor walks into your room at 7 p.m., pukes violently into your recycling bin, flops down on your bed and starts drinking your Diet Coke, you may momentarily feel like throwing his drunken ass back into the hallway, but you know deep inside that you never could. Instead, you stop working on your PoliSci paper (no big deal, you still have like five hours left to write the entire thing), and sit with him for the next two hours as he blathers incoherently, drinks soda, curses at strangers passing by and sings Disney songs. Even though you have every right to be really fucking annoyed at the kid, you’re not — because you two share a special bond as dorm mates (okay, so maybe you were slightly annoyed when puke droplets splattered on your face. But that’s just wrong.)

And at the end of the day, loving people when they’re at their least loveable is part of what it means to be part of a community. Even when they’re being argumentative, unruly or just plain obnoxious. Even when they’re passed out in a rosebush. Even when you’re covered in their puke.

Know a good way to rid a room of that dreaded vomit smell? For the love of God, please email Bianca at blchavez “at” stanford “dot” edu. (But really, it’s becoming slightly unbearable.)

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