As a freshman, I had no idea what to expect from college. I had spent the last few months home fearing that once I leave, I would have no home. You see, after I leave, I would reason, my desk would be full of my sister’s things (or worse — it would be empty and clean, as if no one uses it anymore), my bed would be used so that she could invite friends over; and even when I do get back to see my family, it would not feel as home anymore. On the other hand, how could I be sure that I would find a place on campus where I would feel loved and secure, which would be my new HOME? Inevitably, I thought, there would be some time at which I was going to be Home-less.
East Campus was my third choice between the 16 dorms. It was not that bad of a position, but I was slightly disappointed when I got my temporary room there. Everyone was going to think I was a weirdo just because I lived there. Even worse, I feared the people would be too intense for me to understand, and that I could never participate their strange (at first) ways to have fun.
When I got here, though, it turned out to be quite the opposite. Yes, people were so different from what I had used to, and different in so many ways, that everyone gets accepted and learns to accept the others.
I remember how at first I wanted to transfer out to another dorm, one with less intense flavour. After the REX events though, I was not sure anymore I want to. I loved spending time with both the new freshmen and the upperclassmen, and even though I was going against my principle to stick to the decisions I make, I realised that it would break my heart to leave East Campus with its beautiful (and sometimes very, very interesting) murals, cool residents, and spirit of supporting one another.
Not knowing what to do, I asked an upperclassman for advise. “I am not going to tell you to stay or to leave, this is what you should decide for yourself,” he said, “but one thing that you need to consider is, if it’s three in the morning, where do you want to be and who do you want to have conversations with?”
Half an hour before the transfer FYRE application was due, I canceled it.
Almost all my fears have vanished. I have not yet dyed my hair blue-and-pink, and my hall mates still talk to me. Even though I’ve heard how EC is supposedly “unsafe”, I have no problems sleeping with my door open the same way as everyone else. I can’t draw (except for elephants) but I love the painting on the door of my room. I was afraid that people would make fun of me because I was international, but in the rare occasions they do, it is purely jokingly, and they make sure that I know that. Whenever I need a piece of advice, a hug, homework help, where-to-get-quarters-for-the-washing-machines insight, or just half an onion for cooking purposes, I know that there are many (open) doors I can knock to.
I also developed the habit of actually staying up until four in the morning, and the upperclassman was right: I go to bed happier after having a nice conversation with the residents.