While not in my first year of study at uni, I’m new to the college thing. I’ve gone from living rather independently (read: naked in my apartment whenever I wanted, ice cream for dinner with no judgement etc) to living with 300 hundred odd people. As a result, there are little things about college that just get to me – good and bad- and sort of stick to the chaos that is my mind like crappy stickers on cubical doors.
For instance, my obsession with the nuances of people’s accents has extended to the mundane sounds I hear whilst going about my college ways. It was not until moving to college that I’d heard the pain of someone trying to cease their pooing as I entered the communal bathrooms and failing; or having my barely established study-concentration destroyed by the questionable music tastes of someone on my floor.
There are the to-be-expected Thursday night/early Friday morning activities that produce just-as-expected noises; then again, the comfort I felt when I found myself mid-zombie state at 2am wondering back to my room and heard (then saw) frantic typing on computer keys, produced a warming sense of late night solidarity.
The mental memory box of sounds I have collected isn’t the only product of my idiosyncrasies. My tendency to analyse everyone – in a naïve attempt to understand them – has also thrived on the fresh meat that is dozens of people at everyone meal-time and as a result I’ve noticed some common behaviours.
One thing I have noticed is the pervasive FOMO behaviour, ‘Fear of missing out’ for the unacquainted. Especially visible in younger years, I am witnessing an enthusiasm that has transcended O-Week and seems to be driven by fear… Fear of missing the funny moment will from that point fill an endless amount of conversations, or that event that cements friendships, or the late night conversations that form irrevocable bonds. These undoubtedly make college and life in general meaningful. But I guess now I’m feeling wise in my old age (I’m a second year might I add).
I know that missing the Thursday night vomiting routine (Mooseheads) will not be the end of one’s social life. Or that sitting at a table with a bunch of people who aren’t the friends you’ve made over the last 2 years or 5 weeks, can still be interesting.
The study habits and sleeping patterns of people around me is also something I’ve pondered. Yes, I am a bit of weirdo. As someone pointed out this year to me, at university you meet two types of people (at least, for the purposes of this article you do) and this has become all the more apparent to me. The first I have encountered is the kind who enjoys noting that they have done all their work. Their readings are always printed and highlighted, with annotations made (oh my) and they attend their lectures. Occasionally you come across those who fall into this category but don’t even realise it, such as my good friend last year. The standard she set of actually aiming to complete all requisite work led to endless study and a level of dedication I could not dream of mustering. And of course in turn, she earned a set of amazing and well-deserved grades.
Alternatively, I see students who claim they haven’t started last week’s readings let alone this week’s ones and when encountering these types, I proceed with caution. For all their moaning pre-assignment and exam time, they always seem to end up with higher grades than I.
Alas for the limited shortcomings that my chosen accommodation brings it is undoubtedly overcome by sounds that melt in my mind and the unique behaviours that permeate in this communal life; this college life.