How I learned to not hate dorms
I remember when my roommate started to cough frantically at 2:30 AM one day, making me wake up. He had a severe cold for a few days, and that night it got worse. I got up from my bed to fetch the medicine and got the syrup for him. It didn't feel like a big deal at the time, but the realisation hit me later, what had I just done?
Had I encountered this situation just a while back, I'd have probably panicked and woken up an elderly at that ungodly hour from their deep slumber and explained them the situation in half-baked sentences and watched what they do.
For my whole life, I have been in Dhaka. My life was in Dhaka, with my family and friends. My school and my college always had the same roads and I was always at home after dark (aside from a few thrilling evenings). As I listened to the stories of my parents' dorm lives, I never felt that it would be something I myself would have to face someday. But fate had reserved something else for me.
The period of denial occurs before one commits to the dorm life. "I have never lived outside home! How can I stay in a dorm?" the thought haunted me. But practical necessities forced me to take up residence in a random room that was allotted for me. And since then…
There was a brief period of sadness. I had never imagined myself in a scenario like this, but here I was, sharing a room with three different strangers. I looked at the unrecognisable ceilings, talking only when needed. It didn't take long to go from there to a place where my internal voice screamed, "I WANNA GO HOME!"
After the initial phase of denial, I slowly realised that we were living, studying, sharing notes, borrowing each other's tools, and helping each other out every day without realising it consciously. And it's wasn't just my own room, either. The people living in the hall became the most familiar faces. It did feel like… home. That night, I never once thought I was doing it for someone else. My roommate felt like family.
Is family really the word for it? I can't think of any better. Leaving our loved ones elsewhere, dorms do create a new family for everyone, where you live with each other day-to-day and become more than friends. Not that there aren't any struggles, obviously. Just like a real family, a dorm family involves adjusting with people from different backgrounds, differing beliefs, and different habits. Nights where there are no classes the next day can result in a night-long storytelling epic, sharing one's most embarrassing moments, or emotional ones.
This is not to say I don't miss my home family. I really and sincerely do. And by romanticising my hall life doesn't mean I don't want to shy away from the fact that in many universities the dorm life is not so rosy, due to issues as ragging, student politics, etc. But these experiences have given me the privilege to create a new family in a safe place and for that, I'm extremely grateful to my new family members!
Sadman, as the name suggests is indeed a sad man. He got sorted in Hufflepuff at pottermore and has been sad ever since. Send him happy quotes at [email protected]