Life in a college dorm

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This non-traditional student's choice is on-campus housing
Posted Thursday, January 15, 2004 - 12:00am

If someone would have asked me five or ten years ago where I thought I would be today, I sure wouldn't have guessed that I'd be a college student living in Burtenshaw among hundreds of young students.

As a single and non-traditional student, and having never been to college before, living in a dorm was never a consideration when I first started looking for an apartment in Price, Utah.

However I must tell you that after living of campus for the first couple semesters, and at a distance from the college, it is now for me the only way to go, at least for now.

Every year, all over the world, millions of people are finding themselves, sharing their lives and space with someone they probably have never met. What an exhilarating and yet exasperating adventure, sharing rooms and tripping over each others' funny little and not so funny little habits.

Lucky for me, I don't share space, or should I say, sleeping quarters with anyone except myself; that would be taking it just a little bit too far. After all, I'm well into my 40's and like a dog, occasionally growl and have well ingrained habits of my own.

I'm not really a neat freak, (however some say I am), I just think every thing and everyone has its place, and I'll tell you: I've found there's no room in my pad for anyone but me; and barely enough room for me at that.

Now I don't have a lot of belongings; I travel pretty light. But when I moved out of my apartment into the dorm I gave away one third of what I owned, threw one third in the dumpsters, (mind you I'm using the plural term here), and the other third I stuffed into my new dorm or stored in a storage shed. There just isn't enough room to be packing along much, let alone, everything you own.

It's a real sacrifice in some respects to put a hold on life and go back to school. But then school is something that I've never had, neither is it something that I ever thought I would do. Yet here I am, and I love it.

Dorm life does have a few of its little annoyances, like the reverberating, vibrating, pulsating beat of the bass that seeps up through my floor boards and mesages my feet at night and makes my lamp dance a jig on my desk. There are the sounds of youth racing up and down the halls, singing the latest song on the box.

When I first moved in during fall finals and just before Christmas break, trash was literally strewn up and down the halls. The so-called common room looked like something straight out of a Mad Magazine, and every maid's nightmare.

Music was loud and things seemed literally out of control. For a while I wondered what kind of mistake I had made. My mother always taught me to be patient, things will improve.

Then one day, out of the blue, Luz Flores called me to come see her in her office. I was at first nervous because she is the supervisor over all of the dorms on campus. Just for that moment I felt like a little boy and wondered if I was in trouble, despite the fact that I knew that I hadn't done anything wrong.

I found out that Luz is in person a very sweet lady. She took a fair amount of time to explain to me the rules of the hall, and what was expected of all of the students living on campus. I was also to understand that fines had been imposed and would continue to be for those who refuse to live by the rules. She expressed great willingness to help me in anything that I might need.

One of my bigger concerns of course and you might imagine, being in my late 40s is the music. I do not like loud music, and I especially do not like the loud nerve-grinding bass of rap. I am now aware of what courtesy hours and quiet hours are, and would only hope that the good young folks around me will be respectful of those rules.

But all in all, considering what little time I have spent in school and in my little dorm room at the College of Eastern Utah, life is pretty great and I would recommend it to anyone.

Happy New Year!

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