A Whole New World: The Dorm Life as told by an Ex-Commuter

By Alyssa Seidman

So I’m deciding to turn over a new leaf this semester. I was reading through past articles I had written for this magazine, and I realized I had A LOT to say about love and relationships. But this year will be different, since I’m different (if you’re wondering if I magically acquired a boyfriend somehow, you’d be wrong – hey fellas *wink*).

What’s changed, you ask? I, Alyssa Seidman, am now a resident of the LIU Post campus, effective September 2, 2014. That’s right, readers. I have decided to take on the daunting and daring life of a dormer. This is especially exciting for yours truly since I commuted last year, but thanks to a lovely twist of fate, I can now call Post my humble abode.Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 14.34.07
It was hectic boxing my life away during the final weeks of summer. The experience of having to say goodbye to old and new friends while simultaneously having to say goodbye to my family (not that mom doesn’t text me every hour on the hour) was a new one for me. By the time camp ended and limbo week began, I was ready to move out and blaze the trails of independence in my home away from home.

After I was all settled into my dorm, my parents took me out for the last supper (it was technically lunch, but that’s not the point). As we cleared our plates of greasy diner food, I was feeling oddly thrilled to be on my own. I was teetering with excitement as I stared off into the distance imagining dorm life and all of its gritty goodness. My mom obviously mistook these mannerisms as nerves, and said, “It’s not too late to come home.” To which I replied, “Good one, mom.”hsh

Being an ex-commuter, I, of course had (negative) assumptions about life in the dorms: inadequate bathrooms, rock-hard mattresses, and dreadful dining hall meals (well, I think we all can agree on that one). I was pleasantly surprised to find substantial water pressure in the showers, and my twin mattress is even more comfortable than my full-sized bed in my old room (that is SO WEIRD to say). The only thing I’m really having trouble with is walking up and down four flights of stairs in order to cook my mac n’ cheese. Does anyone want to start a petition to move the microwaves into the common rooms?

Another thing that caught me by off guard were the questionable (mind you, sexual) noises coming from one of the rooms in my hall…at four in the afternoon. I guess you can’t graduate college until you have (or hear) sex in a dorm.

Although I have this newfound freedom living la vida solo (definitely used that line in a previous submission, but whatever), the one thing hasn’t changed is my “going out” frequency. The only time I explored the world outside of my hall this year was when I reluctantly agreed to go to the suites with a fellow floor mate. Let’s just say there’s a first and last time for everything. Even last semester I had friends asking me to hang out, eager to paint the town red, and I declined because there’s no way a trip to Dizzy’s, a popular saloon, could end well for anybody.boxes

“But Alyssa,” you ask, “how could you enjoy dorm life if you haven’t even been drunk once this semester?” Simple. I have the best roommate a girl could ask for. I met Lauren the first week of freshman year during a chance encounter in Hillwood Commons, and we’ve been tighter than Miley Cyrus’ VMA underwear ever since. Also, constantly being on campus offers me unlimited access to meeting new people and making new friends, something I didn’t enjoy as a commuter. I feel more deeply immersed within the campus community, and that is not said with sarcastic undertones. As a commuter, I felt like I was missing out a lot on what Post had to offer. Some may argue that is not much, but I chose this place for a reason – it’s an exceptional institution (cue the haters).

This time last year, I was the sorriest sap you had ever seen. I was on the verge of transferring, I felt like a fish out of water, and I was tremendously lonely, always craving something more. If you told me then that I’d eventually be the co-editor-in-chief of the newspaper, living on campus, and actually enjoying college, I would have laughed right in your face (which is unlikely for me to do since I’m a fairly nice person). I am extremely lucky that my dream of getting the “real college experience” has come true, and I wouldn’t doubt that it could happen for any commuter, or any student for that matter, who chases after their dreams. And if that’s not exceptional, then I don’t know what is.

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