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College Dorms: The Power of Place

Four years of college will change a person. I feel like I change every semester. Those experiences I have faced these past four years have all been so different and the locations have too. Living in a new space each year has been reflective of these moments and each place holds those changes and memories within it. They are all so different and beautifully necessary.

Thinking back to the different homes I’ve had in college, I think back to who I was in that space: what occupied my mind, what stressed me out, what routine I had, who I would spend my time with, what I faced and what I went through. Walls and furniture become a reflection back to who I was. The bed becomes a binge-watching spot, a place to silently cry, a midday nap, a place to be alone after social days. The desk becomes a pregame to the pregame, a facetime area, a zoom call. I can see my experiences in the space I slept and feel how different I see it all now versus then. Places have power and impact, particularly in college. They all hold significance and power specific to them. These are mine.

Seton Hall

In the beginning, I was so scared to be alone. Coming home was now to a dorm with people I didn’t know. I felt homesickness and had to learn to adapt to new schedules in a new environment. It taught me patience. I learned things through trial and error. Being in tough situations and finding ways to overcome them. I learned how to start new here and to find my foundation. I made best friends and lost some. I learned that you don’t have to be friends with everyone. I learned the power of small talk. I experimented and had to find what works for me. I didn’t completely find that until the very end, but a lot of my moments in Seton were my beginning.

Bergoglio Hall

I started out comfortable and felt I already had a place here. I’d say hi to people on campus and they’d say hi back. I had friendships and knew my way. Here I had the fondest memories of going out and dancing. Going to parties and seeing friends, acquaintances, and strangers. Going to the diner late before it closed and waking up slowly the next morning. I lived so freely and had fun that I will never forget. It was a fun that was specific to Berg and nowhere else. I started dating for the first time and fell in love there. I thought I knew myself then, but I learned I didn’t know myself at all.