What a girl wants
It’s that time of year. No not midterms or the eve of spring break. Nope, it’s housing time. Housing, oh housing, how you plague me.
About two months ago, choosing where to live next year was exciting: whom do I want to live with? Where do I want to live? And how much money will I save when I change meal plans?
Around this eager time, five friends and I decided to live together. The prospect was wonderful. All of us girlies would live on top of the hill on Southside. Everyone would get along, clean up their dishes, respect each other’s space, and most of all have heaps of fun together.
But then stress and tension set in. Classes got difficult so people retreated to their textbooks and when housing drama got real people hid in their rooms. Choosing who to live with comes with exclusion and rejection. When you decide whom to live with, you also decide whom to live without.
Amongst my floor, housing was never openly discussed for fear of hurting people’s feelings with the tough-to-swallow truth. So instead, hushed plans were hatched behind closed doors. While tension mounted, seclusion continued to settle.
Finally everything came to a head and bam: drama hit like a hurricane. True feelings and housing plans were expressed and thus rejection fully realized.
As everyone tried to make a housing decision that best suited their needs, my housing plans fell apart. My story is not unique—on my floor and across CWRU, there were tears, anger, and frustration.
After the shock of lost housing plans, a wave of questions flooded my mind. Where am I going to live? Why don’t you want to live with me? Why weren’t we more open with our feelings sooner? Why can’t we all get along and be nice? And most importantly, why has our stress grown to be so great that we are retreating from our friendships?
CWRU is a hard school and doles out its fair share of academic challenges.
These challenges can bog us down and surround us in a cloud of stress. Throw the tough housing decision on top of that and disaster is bound to occur. But stress shouldn’t limit our friendships and prevent us from being happy. So for those of us out there suffering from the housing blues, let’s make a decision to cheer up and, however hard it may be, move on.
My housing plans falling through was a blessing in disguise. Next year I will get to live with people I barely even know, and I am so excited to build friendships with them. Making friends is always fun. Arguably better than that, old friendships can be restored to pre-housing-drama strength. Once decisions are made and the whispered ambiguity ended, the sooner we can put this stress behind us.
I am tired of housing and all too ready to submit my application and let the lottery process begin. I am ready to stop the hushed conversations and tiptoeing around. Let’s go back to two months ago when housing drama wasn’t even a thing. Let’s talk to each other openly and honestly. Let’s follow the Girls Scouts poem: make new friends but keep the old and put this all behind us.
Tension, sadness, betrayal, frustration, drama, seclusion, and stress: ain’t nobody got time for that. So how about we just be friends instead?
Heather O’Keeffe is a freshman studying biomedical engineering. February 19 she turned 19 and after wondering what cool things happen you turn 19, realized it is a very un-milestoney birthday.