A home away from home?


Spring is almost upon us and as students dream of summer vacations and long lazy days, tensions can run high in tight dorm living spaces. For some, dorm living is a dream come true, with co-ed floors available and hundreds of college age kids in one building. But for others, it resembles more of a concrete cylinder block prison, complete with cameras, opposite sex curfews, and resident assistants that patrol the halls. Individual experiences and opinions of dorm living vary greatly from person to person and fortunately, there are options available for those who dislike it.
            One such individual is freshman and Benton Hall resident Preston Hatcher. Hatcher states, “It’s great being so close to class and friends but there are too many rules and it’s tough sharing such a small room with someone.”
This seems to be the complaint of most incoming freshmen but in speaking with Tyler Austin, also a resident of Benton, I learned that all these inconveniences “are just a part of the college experience and it wouldn’t be the same without it. You learn so much about yourself in these tight quarters and it gives you the opportunity to meet and learn about people of different backgrounds.” 
            Another aspect of dorm living that is new to individuals coming into the university setting are the communal bathrooms. One freshman recalls his first experience in the bathrooms one weekend at Western Carolina.
 “I walked in the bathroom to this awful smell… and I saw vomit on the floor left by one of delightful neighbors.”
Such occurrences are not uncommon and can be a nasty reminder of the harsh conditions that are present in the dorms. It requires an impersonal approach to personal hygiene as toilets are often left unsanitary and messes are left for housekeeping.
For most, dorm living seems to be just that, a great place to meet others in an environment unlike any other. It’s not for everyone and it comes with responsibilities, but few regret the time and experiences gained during this period.