Life on the Hill is pretty great once you settle in and find your people. I’m living with three of my best friends, Mia, Meaghan and Elena, in a beautiful North Campus Apartment, and it’s a grand ol’ time. My roommates and I have parties and cook things and fight about who has to take out the trash. We often congregate in the hallway on the second floor late at night when we’re all finally home and talk about our days. We walk to meals together and sit around the kitchen table doing puzzles or homework. We make popcorn and hang our coats side by side in the closet.
While my living situation this year has been spectacular, it took time for me to find my soul-roommates (nailed it). Here are three things I’ve learned on how to make the most of housing experiences at Kenyon.
1. Remember that the third (or fourth) time might be the charm: Though the outdoors pre-orientation program helped me assimilate my first year at Kenyon, I didn’t immediately have a large sphere of close friends like I did in high school. My first-year roommate was fine — we didn’t become BFFs or anything, but it was a perfectly pleasant experience. My sophomore year, after my first housing lottery experience, I ended up with a friend from one of my classes. Though I liked her a lot, we just weren’t compatible as roommates, and I moved in with a different friend for the rest of the year. Junior year, after coming back from studying abroad in Morocco, I roomed with yet another friend-but-not-BFF, and it worked out great.
2. Be patient: Having one less-than-perfect housing experience shouldn’t derail your college experience as a whole. The lottery system can be brutal for those who don’t have a large group of potential roommates to choose from, but living with a friend of a friend isn’t the end of the world either. Not everyone gets to college and immediately flocks to a fun group of guys and gals with whom they’ll remain friends for the next four years — and that’s OK. As time goes on, you’ll find your friend group and the people you want to stick with for life.
3. Live in the moment: I mostly enjoyed living where I did, from Gund to Old Kenyon to the North Campus Apartment where I live now. When I moved back to campus this past August, I sent pictures to my parents, and they both said to appreciate it as much as possible, because this might be the nicest place I’ll live for the next several years. That’s probably true, but I won’t care that much where I’m living if I have people like Mia, Meaghan and Elena in the rooms next door.