As detailed in my first article, moving from the cozy suburbs of Long Island, New York to the beloved swampland of Williamsburg, Virginia was certainly a learning experience. I was thoroughly educated of the fact that Northern Virginia, or Nova, is not and never will be the South and that I am a dirty Yankee carpetbagger (in the most endearing way possible). This was merely the beginning, as my first article neglected to mention the occupational hazards of dorm life.
I am a proud resident of the interestingly-named Gooch Hall, a wholesome brick building nestled in the quaint woods that border William & Mary's ancient campus. Living in Gooch is like riding an elevator, as it certainly has its up and downs. From personal experience, I've found that the college dorm life is truly a cultured one, as its triumphs ultimately make up for its failings.
That being said, Gooch Hall has many characteristics that seem to defy reason, practicality, and the laws of nature at large. Take for example, its cold, white, cinderblock walls that separate the dorms. They are sturdy and unyielding, yet they are simultaneously paper-thin, allowing hip-hop and rap music from next door to freely flow into my room.
The Chinese philosopher Laozi once proclaimed that "a bowl is most useful when it is empty." I suppose this shred of Daoist knowledge does not pertain to all vessels and containers: the paper towel dispensers in the bathrooms are certainly not most useful when they are empty. On the engrossing topic of bathrooms, my floor's has toilet stalls that appear to have not taken account of tall college boys.
It is a common occurrence to see heads poking out of the top of them. I do not mean to word this last factor as if it were a flaw. My hallmates and I have grown to ignore the strangeness of this Gooch feature and more often than not happily greet each other and socialize when we see each other in the restroom, regardless of where we may be standing at the time.
As much as I may gripe about the Gooch experience, overall, the Hall is a fun place to live. Its flaws are not serious ones and they are easy to shrug off, to laugh about and dismiss. What really makes dorm life worth living for me are the friends and hallmates I've lived and grown with along the way.
I have fond memories of football season, during which I was invited down to the first-floor lounge by my fellow Goochites on multiple occasions to enjoy watching games over Domino's Pizza and casual conversation. I remember when an impromptu orchestra was formed in my hall. Taking out my ukulele one night and strumming it a bit set off a chain reaction on my door. Before I knew it, my hallmates began to play their own instruments and the glorious sounds of violins, cellos, and guitars permeated the air.
It was all fun and games even after my roommate blared a few notes on his trumpet. Another night, a miscommunication between my hallmates and a food delivery service led $120 of pure KFC to be delivered to Gooch Hall. Saving our hallmates from financial ruin, nearly my entire floor and I chipped in, splitting up the feast and eating like kings. The Gooch Gang really has grown on me, I owe a lot of what makes my college experience a great one to them. They've made my hall into a home.