The day I found out I would be living in a dorm with community bathrooms and showers, you would have thought my world ended.
I did everything early just like I was supposed to and I get stuck with Cresswell Hall.
Out of all of the beautiful, spacious, clean and wonderful new construction dorms... I am stuck living across the street in the residence hall commonly referred to as "crunkwell" or "crustwell."
Things were very much as I expected:
Upon entering my dorm for the first time in the dead heat of August we quickly discovered our air conditioning was not functioning. The move was a rather hot and humid one that was not remedied until 2/3 days after.
We also learned that two out of four of our outlets were temperamental and made the decision of when they wanted to work or not.
I have been living with a lamp that turns on and off periodically for no apparent reason at all.
Walls are very, very, VERY thin:
Oh the joys of being able to hear every conversation, jam sesh, fight with significant other, and early morning alarm from the various rooms on our hallway.
Yes, I live at the very end opposite the hall entrance but I hear every single person who comes in at 2:00 A.M. I have turned it into a game of guessing who and how many people are entering every night.
Girl's are not inherently clean people:
The stigma that girls are clean neat and tidy while boys are monstrous slobs is just not always true. An interesting fact about community dorms: bathrooms and showers are NOT cleaned on the weekends. Every weekend I think I will no longer be surprised by the state of the bathroom and showers but somehow I continue to be surprised and appalled. PLEASE WEAR SHOWER SHOES! <-- It is no laughing matter and it is a necessity.
The custodians who clean community showers and bathrooms are SUPERHEROES:
The lovely woman who spends every morning scrubbing and cleaning our living area is a saint. She will always greet you and ask you about your day.
She may not think her job glorious but I think it is and she is APPRECIATED! Take the time to stop by and brighten the days of those who are making sure you enjoy your time here to the fullest.
It is very much a social setting:
When you live this close and share a bathroom with 30+ other girls, you learn to socialize in the hallways, while showering, and even in the bathrooms. Make friends with your neighbors!
You can get through the struggles of college life together. I've lived in Cresswell for two months now and I still see new girls I didn't even know lived there.
You can make your dorm room cute:
Here's an example of the "blueprint" we drew to design our room
I know those bare rooms look quite horrifying but as Marren Morris would say "When the bones are good, the rest don't matter." With a little bit of strategic planning and shopping, you can create a calm, cute, and inviting living space!
Take before and after pictures and people will think you have magical powers.
The south side of campus is the best place to live:
You're 10 min or less away from the union, the junction and a majority of your classes. Thankfully Cresswell hall parking DOESN'T have to move their cars for game day.
If you know of the atrocity that is Mississippi State parking, you know how much of a blessing that is!
You either suffer or you make the best of it:
Sooo... living in a community-style dorm is clearly not ideal. Everyone likes peace and privacy but college is about changing and adapting to this new life you've been given.
You have to choose to look on the bright side of things. Such as community-style dorms are actually a lot cheaper than new construction; with all of the fees and loans, this has actually been really helpful for me.
Make friends with your neighbors! You share a hallway, shower, and bathroom so you might as well become friends and help each other through it (Alex and Katy if you're reading this, much love!).
So in conclusion, living in a community-style dorm clearly has its ups and downs but it's not at all as bad as it seems. If you make the best of it, you'll leave with lasting friendships and PLENTY of funny stories to tell your friends and family about dorm life.