It’s easier said than done to move out of the place you’ve called home for the better part of 20 years. We all know that we want the independence and freedom from our parents. However, we also come to realise just how much we took for granted from living at home. Indeed, the things that we miss often aren’t even things that we thought we would.
In fact, most of the time we weren’t even aware that it was something that was done for us. Typical mum, keeping us pampered to within an inch of our lives. And we didn’t even know it. Speaking of, we probably owe our parents a call. It’s likely been too long since you last spoke.
Okay, so now that we’ve all returned from our nostalgic romp down memory lane with our parents, back to the matter at hand.
The university dorm room.
The first place that you ever (most likely) move into for the first time – alone. Dun dun dun! It’s your space but also very basic and every room is the same when you walk in for the first time. You have to make it your own at a time when you’re still not entirely sure who or what ‘You’ means! Fun times.
You let your parents drive you up to university for the first time, with the car packed to the nines and your sister screaming bloody murder in the back seat, complaining that she’s being suffocated by your new duvet. Rolling your eyes, you call her a brat, but the jokes on you. In three days time you will be swaddled in the duvet and thinking of her. Darn it if you don’t miss her! her and her vexing, irritating – stupidly endearing – ways.
You find that every part of the décor in your room has a new backstory.
One that it didn’t before. This is generally true of the most innocuous of things. For example, when you’re sat on the ratty green carpet in the first few days of Freshers’ week. That’s where you met your best friend for the first time – both in your pjs and drinking vodka shots for the first time. Everyone laughs as you both squint in disgust and resolve to never have one again. Watch that age like one of Donald Trump’s tweets. Slam dunk.
I love the phrase ‘if walls could talk’.
Imagine the walls of my college dorm room seeing little old fresh-faced me walk in. nervous and full of superfluous toiletries that my mother equally nervously overpacked for me. Slowly, the things in your room will reflect you more and more and the things that you didn’t know you needed come in as well. You never quite make it all the way through those laundry detergent pods that your mum seemed to think that you needed. Bear in mind that she was likely just as scared as you were. Empty nest, and all that.
If I may be so bold, there were probably many other landmark moments in your life that your college room saw for the first time. Many were great, a few you are allowed to regret, but all have shaped you to the person that you are today. The person who is independent, confident, wiser and older than they were. Yet, there’s still so much that we don’t know. But at least we know that we don’t know everything. That’s the biggest hurdle to get over when you’re maturing out of adolescence. The acceptance that you aren’t quite the big shot that you necessarily think you are.
I mean, you might be. Who am I to say.
You might have had sex for the first time in those hallowed halls. Made the friends you’ll keep for life. Learned some hard lessons. Made mistakes that you will only make once, but nonetheless need to have made.
In short, you and that college room have been through some times. Some times that you probably haven’t even told everyone about all of them. We all have our secrets, but there’s a certain security and boldness in the first room that you live on your own.
It’s yours. And you get to decide what that means.