Living in a Dorm

I’m out here in Machias for a library director retreat, and I’m staying in a dorm for the first time in quite some time. I can’t help but think back on my previous dorm experiences. And what’s the point in taking a trip down memory lane if I don’t drag the rest of you along with me?

My first dorm was at CTY–Center for Talented Youth. Basically a summer camp for smart kids, where I went for two summers and learned Greek and Latin. Because that’s how we future librarians roll when we’re 14, yo. I was in a hall with a bunch of other guys, and we stayed up far too late playing made up card games and trading stories. Good times at Franklin and Marshall College.

Fast forward to my first year at BYU, where I lived in DT. Really, that year was one of the easiest of my life in many ways. I’d just gotten through with my senior year of high school, where I was crazy busy the whole time, and suddenly I found myself in a place where I had almost no chores, no job, and only five classes to worry about–almost all of them General Ed. I was in marching band, which took up a bit of time, but for the most part, it was just kicking back and playing games with friends–most of whom lived on my dorm floor. We’d go to the basement and watch March Madness all day. Play video games in our rooms. Eat a tremendous amount of pizza.

Living the dream.

So I have quite fond memories of dorms. Of course, the first semester after my mission, I was back in DT, and the experience was very different. I was there in the place where I’d had so many friends–and all of them were gone. It was a very Les Mis “Empty Chairs” sort of a feeling, and I spent a fair bit of time feeling sorry for myself. Then again, I also had a minifridge where I’d keep a gallon of chocolate milk on tap at all times.

It’s hard to feel too sad for yourself when you have all the chocolate milk you can drink. Just sayin’.

How are things staying in a dorm for this conference?

Much. Much. MUCH. Quieter than when I was in college. It helps, of course, that there aren’t any–you know–college students actually staying here. I remember my first year was the year I learned how to sleep with ear plugs in comfort, because it would be 2am, and I’d want to be going to bed, but people were still yelling and carousing across my floor.

Librarians don’t yell and carouse much, it appears. Not even at 2am.

The room is smaller and more cell like than recalled. But I have internet and Netflix, so the entertainment in the late evenings is automagically taken care of.

All told, I can’t say I miss the dorm life. Good memories, but nothing that I’m in any rush to live through again.

What about you? Ever live in the dorms? Have a good time doing it, or was it all awful? Do share.

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