The Joys of Non-Academic College Life

Since Thanksgiving, my days have been filled with everything from the most intensive studying to the most fantastic hang-outs. And looking beyond the hours spent in solitary confinement, pouring over theorem after theorem, so much has happened in the last couple weeks of my first term of college.

Our first Sunday back on campus marked the beginning of girls’ night. We stretched back into our childhoods and relived the fort-building experience that every child has (or most children, at least). Suddenly, my room was transformed from the study space of a math-obsessed, essay-writing nerd into a fantastical, dimly lit world where comforters became ceilings, furniture became walls, and everything beyond our fleece-blanket “carpet” disappeared. The four of us crammed into our fort and simply talked, looking up from our pillows at each other in the yellow of a dying flashlight. It was wonderful and close and platonically intimate.

Less than a week later, we called another meeting into session, after baking two whole batches of cookies (all of which were scarfed down immediately by a dorm full of perpetually hungry college students). Since our first girls’ night, our fort-making skills had improved and we had taken to using my printer, in addition to my dozen-plus architecture books (I was writing a research paper), to prevent the down-blanket “ceiling” from collapsing in on us. We lay in there, light fading and hours ticking off the clock, and played Never Have I Ever. After we had adjourned, I stood back and looked at the fort in admiration, and was too proud of our little baby to take it apart. So I slept under there last night and realized just how much heat people give off: without all of us crammed inside, it was suddenly unbelievably cold and hallow-feeling. So I fell asleep with my huge down jacket on, to fill up a little space and give me a little more warmth.


A few days later, finals overtook our lives and the stress of our first ever round of examinations drove our tired selves to the books, our brains frying, hands cramping, and eyes watering. Nevertheless, we survived, and by Thursday, our social lives began to pick up again. I stayed up late talking to a friend, slept a mere few hours, and then bade my roommate farewell until January. That night, a group of us went up to my friend’s room to sing her an early birthday song (her birthday’s on the 28th) and present her with a poster-board-sized card that I had made for her (I had people sign when she wasn’t around). By Friday afternoon, we were all done, and so the hours before the sun’s bedtime found a few of us getting ready for a night out to celebrate a premature birthday. After showering, getting dressed up, doing each other’s makeup, we biked to P.F.Chang’s to find it packed with a 1.5-hour wait time. So we changed plans and went to this cute little Mediterranean-and-Italian-and-other-stuff fusion restaurant (my roommate and I had gone the night before we left for Thanksgiving a few weeks prior). It’s a wonderful place with the distinctly European quaintness of home and romance, all rolled into one. It was fantastic, and we sang Happy Birthday loudly enough to embarrass her just the right amount.


[I know this photograph isn’t from Babbo’s… but the atmosphere seemed to fit.]

It’s nearly 1 AM, and I have to wake up early to catch a ride to the airport in the morning. But for now, all I can think of is how much I miss dorm life, regardless of how much I want to go home. And all I can think about is how my heart is torn between the nostalgia for college dorm life and the beauty of going home again.


[I miss these sunsets.]


~ by thechanster on 1:25 am, Monday, December 15, 2008.

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