One of the biggest transitions from high school to college is leaving your home and becoming accustomed to living independently. And it was intimidating for me, going from living in one house my entire life with the same family, to sharing a room with a person I just met. But this kind of nomadic lifestyle one adopts is part of embracing the college experience. I spent each year of college in a different housing situation, with different location, different people, and as a result each year had its own unique experience.
I spent my freshman year in a residential dorm, and when initial roommate never showed up. I spent my first month of college with a single. This had both pros and cons, I appreciated having my own space but it also got lonely at times, as those first months are about meeting as many people as possible. Then I learned someone was transferring in, and I was both nervous and excited to share my space with someone. It ended up being a great experience, I enjoyed having someone to talk about my day with, and someone to share my social sphere with. To this day, we are still friends and catch up often.
Sophomore year, I decided to live with some friends in the USC Village housing, a common step up for many who lived in freshman residential dorms. The biggest culture shock was the transition from dorm-style living to an apartment. No longer did I share a communal bathroom with 15 other guys, and no longer were my meals strictly from the dining halls. I had a kitchen and a living room, opening the possibilities of what the space could be used for.
Junior year, I made a big leap and decided to stay in my fraternity house for the year. For context, the building usually houses 40 people, but due to COVID-19 it was regulated to 18 for the year. It was a bit of a step back to freshman year as I was sharing a space with a larger group, which was a great social atmosphere, albeit could be grating at times. But the space was also so much larger, and with that came many amenities, like a cook, a gym, and volleyball court. Especially during COVID, it was nice to have such a social space, that honestly kept me sane after spending a semester and summer cooped up at home. That time at home during COVID made me realize I had become accustomed to moving around, and I became restless very quickly.
And now for my senior year, I am currently living in an off-campus townhouse with other senior members of my fraternity. Ultimately each of these years was defined by where I lived and who I lived with. And I couldn’t pinpoint if there was an exact best or worst, each had positives and negatives that made them an enriching experience. It’s odd looking back and thinking I was freaking out about living away from home. Now I can barely stay in the same spot for more than a year, with an insatiable want to travel and experience new spaces.