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When in Athens, Wait, What Should I Do: Dorms are a world of their own, miles from home

Don’t get me wrong, I love beaten-to-death phrases as much as Dr. House loves playing by the rules.

But, let me just start this off by saying, “Home is where the heart is.”

So for my fourth sign welcoming me to the great state of college world, I’d like to point out that, if home is where the heart is, my home is now the beloved 17?by?11(ish) foot square that I now reside in.

Yes, the dorm room, with all of the unforgettable and endearing moments that come with residence-hall life.

As a dorm dweller, the average OU student would tell you it’s all about growing, experiencing, adapting and improvising. If it sounds like I just described the life cycle of a frog, you’re not crazy — I thought so too.

And as a disclaimer, I don’t want anyone to think I’m discontent. Living here is an adventure.

Let us start with humble beginnings, which took place in Wilson Hall on West Green.

Never at home does one get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and pass a guy wearing an outfit made entirely out of caution tape. I wish someone had given me the memo; for God’s sake, I was wearing pajamas!

As mentioned, residence life is about improvising and adapting. Residence halls provide you with plenty of resources, but it isn’t quite the same as having your mother waiting on you at all times.

I mean, she’s not there to rake the carpets. You meant vacuum right? No, rake.

We never had a decent working vacuum, so you could often find us sitting on the floor, pulling combs (picture those little black useless ones they give you on picture day) through the carpet to get the dirt out.

Take that, Hoover.

College kids also love to eat — a lot. And even if the vending machine is stocked up, sometimes you need some late-night food with some substance.

If you’re thinking of inventing a vending machine for steak dinners, let me know — I want to invest.

That’s where we college students do average stuff such as order a pizza or iron out a grilled cheese. Hey, it’s against the rules to have a griddle, so pass me the ironing board and Wonder Bread before I starve.

Then there’s my next dorm, Bryan Hall, with its old, historic charm. It’s that charm that can explain why I will be enjoying a nice shower when out of nowhere the water starts playing charades and draws the “fiery pits of hell” card and I have to launch myself out of the way.

That’s usually when it’s my turn and I draw the “strand of miscellaneous obscenities” card. 

That’s what I get for calling it old.

Living in a residence hall also allows you to make friends in interesting ways with people you might not normally befriend. Sometimes, I’m convinced they plan all of those unexpected encounters.

It’s 1 a.m., the fire alarm is going off, and you’re in the shower. Now just go grab a towel, walk across the street and meet some friends, ya hear?

Bryan Hall is reaching the double digits in fire-alarm evacuations after only one quarter, so needless to say I have met a lot of people that way.

No one says “hello” quite as well someone who is groggy, freezing and murderous over whoever tried to make Easy Mac without water.

You want me to add water? Who do you think I am, Emeril Lagasse? BAM! Guess not.

Hey, nothing is perfect, but everything is an adventure.

Jackie Runion is a sophomore studying journalism and a columnist for The Post. Email Jackie at

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