I glanced down at my computer clock – 11:28 – three minutes to go. I refreshed the page again, praying in that moment, where the wheel spoon and the page went blank, that no more rooms had been taken. There were plenty of rooms last I checked, but who knows what could have happened? Maybe everyone with the 11:27 pick time wanted my building.
The screen came back and I saw that only one more suite had been selected, there were still nine open, I was fine.
I attempted to return my focus to the front of the room where my professor was discussing the three different types of cake in loving detail – why did my nutrition classes always fall during lunch time?
Despite the delicious examples of foam and sponge cakes up on the screen and my rumbling stomach, my eyes had yet again drifted back to the clock, 11:29, just two minutes to go.
It was housing selection day after all, and just the word housing is enough to set any college student on edge.
As an incoming freshman, the idea of living in a dorm is exciting on so many levels: roommate (i.e. new best friend), a building nestled into that beautiful, lush campus and a guaranteed new start. Once you arrive on that new campus, in not-so-pretty-after-all building and meet that weirder-than-you-imagined roommate (who, in my case, is actually my new best friend) your vision of housing begins to become a little less picturesque.
And by the time housing selection rolls around that first year, the word housing has become synonymous with stress.
First off, there is the question of that roommate.
If you’re as lucky as I was, you can’t imagine not living with your random, freshman roommate again – but does she feel the same way? I can remember the weeks of anxious dread at the start of the spring semester when I deliberated about asking her if she wanted to room together again in the fall. Honestly, it felt exactly like when I told my first crush in middle school that I liked him. Horrifying, and very not necessary to relive.
I remember sitting at my desk, deliberately not looking at her as the sweat ran down my back and asking “uh so, do you think you want to live with me again next year?”
Her reaction too perfectly described how not-like-me she is.
“Of course!” she said. “I just kind of assumed that was a given.” Well, that made one of us.
Once the roommate is settled, the building choice and the concern that your pick time is not nearly early enough to get you into that building begins to take over all available worry space in your brain.
Worry that you won’t get in, worry that you will get in but your other friends won’t, worry that the one person you don’t like from your freshman dorm will end up picking the room next to you, again. Worry that you will end up in West (not going to lie but those bathrooms freak me out). Or even more frightening – worry that there just won’t be enough housing for you at all. It isn’t guaranteed anymore after all.
My professor had finally moved past cakes when the clock flickered and the time became 11:31. Pick time.
I refreshed the site again, the screen turned white, the spinning wheel was back. Housing is all just one big waiting game of worry.
Julia Werth is the news editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.