Hey reader, hope you’ve had a nice, relaxing summer so far. So, let’s talk about move in day. Now I like to think my parents raised a truthful boy… so I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that it’s a smooth process. It’s AWKWARD. No like, REALLY AWKWARD. Move in day is essentially a sea of people who have never met before rushing to move into a small room along with their fellow co-inhabitants.
I’ve had the luxury of going to college an hour’s drive from my hometown and blessed with parents willing to wake up really early to drive a truck full of my stuff through horrid California traffic. Once in the small, crowded, Pitzer parking lot I joined the mob of new students competing for carts to overload and push through a narrow and equally crowded hallway.
Okay now let’s talk about the part of move in day that you’ve probably thought about the most: your roommate. The co-captain in the ship that is your dorm room experience. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your roommate is not you. Still, you probably share some interests and hobbies. Maybe you both enjoy Hawaiian pizza and vegetating in your bed to a Netflix original series, but unless your roommate happens to be your biological twin, your roommate does not share the same background as you (or that embarrassing story from fifth grade science camp). Nonetheless, you are both perfectly capable and interesting people who will not only share a dorm, but a wide variety of experiences including but not limited to: food (hopefully), the AWKWARDNESS of making completely new friends, the existentialist dread of being so close to full blown adulthood, the crushing stress of finals week, and a bathroom.
I was blessed with a nice roommate who I’ve had a great friendship with. A friendship in which we’ve supported each other through a lot of our proud and not so proud moments. I’ve shared many vulnerable moments with my freshman year roommate and I can honestly say that he’s done a lot for me and I’m forever grateful for having such a great person around (shout out to Arman!). But REALLY AWKWARD is the overarching theme of move in day. Later in the year my roommate and I would joke about the AWKWARDNESS of our relationship when we were first getting to know each other. The strange nervousness of meeting the person you don’t know too much about, except that they will be the first thing you see when you wake up tomorrow morning, and having both your families exchange small talk as they help you unload all of your stuff.I
In a natural progression, our relationship went from excessively polite exchanges:
“Could I please borrow x”
“Of course! You don’t have to keep asking to borrow x by the way, use it whenever you like!”
“Thank you so much!”
To casual sibling like comfort:
“Hey, where’s x?”
“Oh, it’s on my desk, I borrowed it while you were in class”
Also, it’s perfectly okay to not be good friends with your roommate too. You might find yourself not too compatible with your roommate in the friend department and there’s nothing wrong with that. College is all about doing what you feel is best for your learning experience and you are well within your rights to pursue other friendships. All I ask of you, reader, is to PLEASE remember to be a courteous and considerate roommate. Leaving your gym socks all over the floor may fly in your room back home, but your roommate will not appreciate having to smell you even when you’re not there!
I guess the message of this blog is that move in day is weird for everyone. However, it’s important to remember that all your hard work has led up to this day and you’re all in this together. You, your roommate, your neighbors, the admission staff guiding you to your room, and every parent involved. Seeing the range of emotions within parents on move in day is one of the most moving (no pun intended) experiences. A mother’s face as she releases the child she’s raised into young college adulthood communicates both a bittersweet sadness and overwhelming pride. Move in day also coincidentally falls on allergy season every year so don’t be surprised if you see lots of teary eyed, soft voiced dads.