As I stared at the empty, generic and barren side of the room that once belonged to me, memories flooded my brain. As a sentimental person, I couldn’t help but think of all the mornings I woke up to the sun peering through the cheap, fireproof curtains that hung over the windows. 129 C was more than just a dorm room: it was the place that felt so much like a home away from home. Its walls heard every laugh, and saw every tear. The walls watched my roommate and I try unsuccessfully to uncork a wine bottle, or order Domino’s at 1 a.m. on more Saturday nights than we’d like to admit.
Tacked upon the now plain cinderblocks were my posters of Lana Del Rey, the Beatles, and numerous other miscellaneous decorations. My desk that now looked as if it could belong to anyone once held photos of me and my boyfriend, my nephew, my parents, and cards I received throughout the year. Little notes from my roommate Jane, used to be tacked onto the bulletin board that connected to the back of the desk. I spent hours sitting there; editing papers, studying Spanish vocabulary, or attempting to understand my core required philosophy class. Now, with a realization that proved unforgiving and somewhat unsettling, it looked as if I had never even lived here.
As Jane and I carried the last of my hastily packed bags out to my car, I paused and took in the room once more. Facing my bureau, I opened each drawer quickly, so as to make sure that I wasn’t forgetting anything. I opened the closet door and ran my hand along the shelf. Empty now was the shelf that held all of my miscellaneous items: my cheap pair of cat ears I bought for Halloween, shampoo bottles and other toiletries that were once mere clutter. Closing my closet door (that never used to close due to my coat hanger) I remembered trying on an outfit, or multiple, for a night out. Jane and I would be lying on our beds, watching Netflix or talking, and we’d somehow find the energy to get ready.
It was always our thing: blasting Spotify, rummaging through our closets for a decent outfit, and haphazardly preparing our drinks, hoping they’d taste somewhat good. We’d quickly put them into tumblers and make our way to my boyfriend’s room, where we’d hang out with the rest of our friends, sometimes not even going to parties. I wouldn’t trade those nights for anything; even when we would walk off campus and the cops would shut down the parties. With a fridge now emptied and unplugged, we used to store our wine, that’d we’d somehow uncork and share with our friend Kate. Embodying the roles as authentic college students, we’d drink wine out of plastic cups and talk for hours. Our little fridge served us well: aside from not being able to store a large pizza box. That proved inconvenient on a couple of occasions.
I closed the door to 129 C with great happiness yet with great sadness. The room that once belonged to Jane and me now belonged to no one. Next year, when a pair of lucky rising sophomores move into 129 C, I hope they have as much fun as we did. I hope they realize that being in a freshman dorm for your sophomore year can be a blessing in disguise. It’s the opportunity to laugh at freshmen being freshmen, but to also help them along the way. 129 C, as Jane perfectly summed up, was our “nook.”
As first time roommates, Jane and I formed a newfound coexistence that lasted without conflict from late August until May. We found happiness in each other that made coming back to the room at the end of the day both rewarding and comfortable. Cheers to sophomore year, and cheers to the final two years to come.