by Leah Coleman
When I was packing up for college last fall, my mom came in my room and said that she had booked the plane tickets.
“Tickets?” I asked, and then she told me she was coming with me. I was relieved, because I had completely assumed I was going to go on my own. We still laugh about it today.
She had asked, “How on earth were you going to get to campus? A taxi?”
Dorm life at RIT brought some new changes in my life. I had never before moved out on my own, especially never alone outside of Utah. I didn’t have parents to wake me up for school – or make me breakfast. I was now living alone independently; in the dorms with a roommate.
I met my first-year roommate when I arrived at the dorms, and we became close friends. By the end of the year, we were sworn enemies. That happens when you live in such close quarters with someone that isn’t your relative, in my experience. She was my first roommate since my sister, and I upgraded our bunkbeds into our own beds in our own rooms. I’m definitely looking forward to my second roommate now!
It was my first Halloween and Thanksgiving away from home, which was a very weird experience. Halloween was still a blast and if you think I’m too old to dress up, you’re wrong! Thanksgiving consisted of Chinese food and marathoning Netflix shows while the campus was silent because everyone else had gone home. I really feel like I got to internalize that college experience.
The first snow was an amazing moment. It was earlier than expected and everyone freaked out. I remember sitting on the floor of my dorm with a bottle of eggnog wishing that I was with my family. The snow was like having a little part of Utah there with me. And, it brought out everyone’s inner child. By morning, all the snow had been stomped into the ground. It snowed in November, but barely in December. We even had a snow day, which is rare! Nothing was better than waking up to a set of emails from the school declaring that school was postponed to start later that day, and then another one establishing that campus would be closed for the day because the plows couldn’t do their thing. I immediately went back to sleep with a smile on my face.
I can’t decide if it’s the sleep – or the lack of sleep – that was my best friend during my first year at college. There were times where I pulled all nighters and slept during the day. Whenever I could, I slept for two different four-hour intervals. Just like the Shakespearean times! My theatre teacher would be proud. I survived.
Luckily, I was always awake during the late-night fire alarms after someone burnt their midnight snack. Each dorm room is equipped with a doorbell that flashes your lights to get the resident’s attention. In a move of striking, brilliant, creative ingenuity, the school decided to place the fire alarm right next to the door alarm. So when the fire alarm went off or someone rang the doorbell, you had to scrutinize the two lights to figure out which one was flashing. Here’s a great example of this: One night I was still awake doing my homework and my roommate was asleep, when the fire alarm started going off. I got up and started getting warmer clothes on. I watched as my roommate woke up and started complaining because she thought her friend was at the door at this late hour. I had to explain to her that it was the fire alarm. Her attitude changed completely!
During the first week I made some fast friends, who complained about the prices of the textbooks they had to buy. I laughed – until I saw the pricing on the art supplies I needed! Being an art major is not easy, you guys. My desk was constantly cluttered with different pens and pencils. When I moved out, I had to clean every splash of paint that stained the desk and carpets. When I left, I took down all of my art and posters from the walls and the dorm room looked like a skeleton. I’m looking forward to decorating my room again next semester!
As much as I love being home for the summer and working at the Signing Time office, I’m excited for this next year of school! I’m looking forward to the memories I’ll make, as well as the things I’ll learn. I can’t believe I’m about to start my second year of college.