How Living On Campus Has Taken Years Off My Life

By: Alyssa Murphree, February 22, 2017

I had the idea of writing this post earlier this week, but coincidentally, I am currently writing it during the campus’s fifth hour without power after a squirrel chewed through a transformer (may they rest in peace). While this is a rare scenario, I cannot help but believe that the blogging gods willed me to write this post while camped out in the Life Science Building, the only building with electricity, surrounded by hundreds of other students taking turns at power outlets, playing video games on a TV they brought to the LSB lobby, and trying to study for exams as a beach ball bounces down the stairs beside them.

Before I continue, I must acknowledge the benefits to living on campus as well. As a junior in my second semester who has lived on campus since my arrival at DelVal freshman year, I have many valuable memories and ways to speak highly of the campus resident lifestyle. The first point being the incredible convenience of being able to roll out of bed ten minutes before class and still being on time. There really is no comparison a commuter can make. Another being the fact that no matter what time of day or night, having my other on-campus friends being accessible for studying, sharing your whole life story at two in the morning, venting/crying about election results, watching 50 Shades of Grey in a lounge surrounded by windows, or playing with their fuzzy (and sometimes scaly) dorm pets. Finally, as much as we hate to admit it considering the quality of the dining hall food most days, damn is it nice to not have to cook for yourself after a long day of classes, work, and internships.

However, I have also encountered my fair share of roommate induced anxiety attacks, the desire to smuggle my dog in my dorm room for the rest of the semester, and wanting to just be ALONE.

Due to my job at the Equestrian Center, I have lived on campus year-round for the past nearly two and a half years. Spring, summer, autumn, and winter. I’ve lived in a double, a quad, suites, and even had a single after my roommate transferred (my favorite living scenario thus far), and boy am I tired of it. After all this time, the thing that I crave the most is privacy and to be alone with my own thoughts, like any regular old introvert.

I’ve lost countless hours of sleep due to the ignorance, and sometimes just plain inconsiderate nature of my roommates. People who work with horses, like myself, start the day before the sun even rises and yet how dare I have the audacity to request the lights being turned off before 11 PM or for somebody to just be a little bit quieter so I can fall asleep.

Other roommate horror story highlights include the one freshman year who made passive-aggressive Facebook posts about me, the sophomore year one who broke my full-length mirror and failed to see the need to apologize, the summer ones who turned the thermostat down to 60 degrees multiple times a day, and the current ones who dug through my files containing all my financial, medical, and insurance records just to find a Chinese menu. Seriously? Just Google that shit.

On a much less light note, I cannot help but express the deep sadness I feel as I miss my dog. I was given my Chihuahua, Angel, as a gift for my 11th birthday. Now while she may be young at heart, her heart is not getting any younger. She was recently diagnosed with a heart murmur and I cannot help but to feel guilty that I missed out on three years of her life simply by living on campus and leaving her behind at home. In fact, having my cherished childhood friend as a roommate is my main motivation to move off campus within the year.

As somebody who has experienced DelVal during all four seasons, I have to say that the summer is my favorite. My days are spent at work in the sweltering heat and my nights are spent biking around campus with a cool breeze flowing behind me. But that’s not the best part. The true enchantment of summer involves not encountering a single other soul on campus as I bike, walk, and run about. I have my choice of any place I want to sit uninterrupted and it’s cathartic. Summer is a time for self-reflection on the DelVal campus. Time that I do not get any of the other three seasons.

As I conclude this post, I am hearing people around me push chairs back in and the sound of plugs being yanked out of wall outlets. Word is that power has finally been restored to campus (except Ulman, sorry guys). There is light in my room and it is calling me. Even though I’m not completely alone because my roommates will be there as well, I have a greater appreciation after residing in the Life Science Building with 200 fellow students this Wednesday night.

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