Experiential Learning at College Dorms

I am not going to tell you that living in a college dorm teaches you to resolve conflicts with your roommate and neighbors. I am not going to say that you learn to be more independent and take care of yourself. I am not going to say that you learn to swallow bad food. You already know that.

Atleast now you do.

My suite mates and I trying to be serious. It was hard. 

What I am going to tell you is that college dorms teach you to talk no matter what you’re doing. You’re surrounded by people your age who you didn’t know until you the age of 18. There is so much about their life that you want to know about. You want to hear all their travel stories and what they’re learning in their art history class. They’re all amazing people and you want to know all of them. Of course that’s difficult, but you try nevertheless. So you’re constantly talking-when you’re brushing your teeth, taking a shower, cooking, working on your final paper, eating in the common dining hall or taking printouts in the library.

Outside the kitchen on a weekday night. A passing hello or
a philosophical discussion on Plato? 

They  teach you to ignore that facebook post about free food in the kitchen or board game night in the common lounge. There are too many things to do, including the essay due tomorrow, and you have to make choices. You’re going to feel FOMO (fear of missing out) at first and think about the lost opportunities. After a while you’re going to shrug and say “oh well, next time”. Because there is going to be a next time. This is college, not the real world. You have four years and there are going to be many more zumba classes and movie screenings to go to.

An anonymous gift found outside my room door. Perfect
timing, I was so hungry. 

They teach you to smile at people and say a cheery hello no matter how terrible you’re feeling on the inside. Although you really just want to walk past them and pretend you didn’t see them, you look at them in eye, smile and wave as if your life is absolutely fine. Of course, the cheery waves and beautiful smiles you get in return often make you feel better and you forget the reason you were so upset in the first place.

They teach you to not be such a control freak about your daily schedule. So you ended up spending an hour at the water filter talking to that girl who lives down the hallway. You may not be able to hit the gym today, or maybe you’ll have to compromise on your sleep tonight. But that’s okay. Not knowing how you’re going to end up spending your day is one of the best parts about college.

The student run cafe on a Sunday night. It’s nearly impossible
to spend less than an hour here. Believe me, I’ve tried!

They teach you to ignore people who push you to the edge. There are going to be those who make you want to switch classes or dorm rooms. You’ll probably realize that switching classes or dorm rooms is a tedious procedure and you don’t want to go through it. You end up bearing with that person for a year. After a while, they stop affecting you, because you stop caring. Who knows, you might even end up being friends with them.

College dorms are so much more than shelter to sleep and store your stuff. They’re experiential learning at its very best.