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confessions of a resident: what living on campus taught me


Who would have thought that a dorm room could feel so much like home?

That a 6-bedroom apartment that looks different than what you expected could become the place you feel most comfortable. How does a dorm become home? It’s simple, the people. The people are what make living on campus great.

When I first moved on campus I was just an 18-year-old who didn’t know whether or not she could survive in the crazy world of being a university student. From feeling the pressure of doing well in school after taking a gap year, the realisation mum and dad were no longer down the hall, that I had to cook all my meals for myself and that I was about to spend the next five months of my life living with complete strangers.

Scared doesn’t begin to describe it.

Soon enough though all my fears were gone, I got settled in that first night and the next day my roommates were scheduled to move in. So, naturally, I avoided the house all day. When I got back that night I had 5 new roommates, all Study Abroad students from all across the world. I was in for one hell of a semester.

 

That was the start of an amazing journey for my apartment.

That first semester of living on residence was an experience, to say the least. Four months had never gone so fast. Those 5 Study Abroad students became friends, who then became family. Our new-looking apartment quickly changed into a fun house filled with random wall details we had picked up throughout our journeys. It didn’t take long before coming back to the apartment meant coming home.

Quickly I realised how special living on campus is. It’s more than just convenient to get to classes every day and to be able to call reception or maintenance if anything goes wrong. It’s special to be surrounded by people who are experiencing all the same things you are. There was no better way to start my university experience than to be living on campus with that bunch. When semester came to an end and flights were booked home, many tears were shed as we recalled all the memories made in 4 short months in our apartment.

We weren’t just friends because we were living together, they were genuine friendships built in real life. There is no better feeling than waking up and having your friends be there. It’s no joke that university can be hard and at times overwhelming, and to be able to go home into such a positive and supportive environment is something I never took for granted. To have people who genuinely care about you and be there to offer you advice and to listen to you is an amazing thing.

Living on res taught me it’s okay to be emotional with your friends.

 

You don’t always have to know exactly what you’re doing, because as it turns out no one else really has a clue either.

The next year when I returned to the apartment, only one of my roommates from the previous semester was returning with me and suddenly we were faced with 4 new roommates. We were met with 4 new extraordinary individuals who added their own flair to our home. And yet another semester was passed with a million memories created with new roommates who are now a part of our little family. That’s the power of living on campus, the days feel shorter and the semester goes faster. Sure, there were times when we didn’t always see eye to eye but that’s life. Your roommates will annoy you. And you will annoy them. It’s human nature, learn to agree to disagree. At the end of the day you all love each other and the dirty plate left on the counter isn’t a big enough issue to ruin a friendship. There was never an issue big enough to go to sleep mad at someone. There was no space for hate in our apartment because there was too much love. Everyone who walked through that door could feel it. It’s been a year since I moved on campus, and not a day goes by that I am not thankful to have been placed in this room.

With a new semester just around the corner and 3 of us left, I can’t help but wonder about the next group of students that join me in this room. All I know for sure is that I can’t wait to make a million more memories within these walls.

Living on campus has taught me to never take for granted the people you meet living on residence. University residences are a special place and can only be lived in for a few years. That building will become home. And then people you meet there will become family.

 

 

This blog was written by blog contributor Liliana Azara (@lilazara). Liliana is studying a Bachelor of Communications at the University of Canberra and is originally from the Southern Highlands in New South Wales.

Read more from our campus life category:

Know your head: weekly mental health to-do’s

Things I wish I could tell first-year-me

The bugs that you’ll meet at uni (yes, bugs)


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