It's been a wild few weeks getting used to the whole “college” lifestyle but I think I’ve gotten at least a little bit comfortable and established some semblance of “normal.” But there’s a glaring problem that affects so much of the time I spend on campus. It's come to be the bane of my existence these last few weeks and I just can’t see it getting any better anytime soon: Mary Markley Hall.
Daily living is a pain, it’s cramped, and the whole damn building just feels off.
Here’s a list of the reasons just why I hate this cinderblock hell so much.
1. It's old
Markley’s one of the oldest dorms on campus and it hasn’t changed much throughout its painfully long lifetime. It got updated recently with wood flooring in some of the halls but that highkey hasn’t actually done anything to make the experience better. Except for rolley chairs. Rolley chairs are fun now.
2. The furniture smells weird
I’m not sure if this problem is exclusive to just Markley but the furniture reeks of some weird chemical used to keep the furniture clean. Air freshener is a friend.
3. The water tastes weird
All the water fountains in Markley are just standard fountains. Now, that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing if every other fountain on campus wasn’t a fancy auto-dispensing filtered water system. It's just off putting to think about.
4. The dining hall
While I’m grateful for even having a dining hall, there really isn’t anything special about it beyond a build-your-own-pizza bar that low-key isn’t even that good anyway. It’s more of a consolation prize than anything, really.
5. Tiny ass rooms
So not only is Markley one of the most packed dorms on campus - about 1180 freshman crammed into the damn building - but the rooms are likely the smallest on campus. My dorm room is a spacious 11x12. 11x12. Do you understand how small that is? I have 121 square feet of space, more than half of which taken up by two fully lofted beds that’re so close to the ceiling that if you wake up in a fright you’re more or less guaranteed a concussion. Plus there's some oddly spaced out rooms, and some floors lack a lounge and for some reason have a single triple. To make more room they’re turning LOUNGES into TRIPLES. That’s ghetto af U of M what the heck?
Hurricane Harvey was a catastrophe for those that were faced with it directly but its delayed effects have come to give me what I could only call a mild discomfort in comparison to actually getting hit by the hurricane. Don’t get me wrong though, it's very uncomfortable.
It's so bad.
The rooms are cinder block cells that hold in so much heat that it feels like you’re trapped inside of a sauna. I’ve woken up so many times sweating through my shirt that I want to give up on the idea of sleep at this point. My bags have bags at this point. Sleep is a distant winter dream at this point.
I’m sure this is the reason that a few of you even know about Markley in the first place. They are not a myth. They are not simply just an urban legend. They are real. Some fear to speak of them for the fear of invoking their wrath but nonetheless, they exist.
The roaches are real.
Word of them started up when the temperature dropped below 70 and in the last few weeks have been quiet but I know they exist.
I witnessed one of them myself after all. It had been right after I’d grabbed lunch from the lackluster dining hall that I spotted it in the hallway - quietly sitting in the shadow of a garbage can. I approached it slowly, intent on stopping the virus before it could spread. As i went to grab it - tissue in hand - the most terrifying fact of roaches was revealed to me.
Roaches. Fucking. Hiss.
I dropped the tissue and booked it the hell out of there. Frost hall can deal with that shit - they're on the other side the building anyway.
8. The simple fact that Alice Lloyd exists
Worse than anything I’ve listed up to this point is just the simple fact that, less than 500 feet away, Alice Lloyd exists. A newly renovated building with central air conditioning to all rooms, all of which are MUCH larger than anything Markley could ever hope to have. Five hundred students in a building that looks more like a luxury hotel from the inside than a college dorm - modern furniture and private study rooms, an actual kitchen, and access to Mojo (the best dining hall on the Hill which also has AC) less than a minute away.
Alice Lloyd’s mere existence is an insult to all residents of Markley. Screw those guys in particular.