This post was written by Morgan Bahnman (left). Morgan is in the Columbia ONE program and lives in Redekop Hall with her awesome roommate, Jenica (right).
Beep. Beep. Beep. The blaring alarm shrills. My brain awakens with my list of things to do: class, work, meeting, class, eat, homework, class, and another meeting. A typical day of a college student. As my bleary eyes read the time I realize it is two hours before my first class. Frustrated, I wonder why my alarm has gone off.
And then I hear it. The sigh of my roommate getting out of bed to attend her early morning classes. I hear her books crash to the floor as she attempts to respect my sleeping space. Then I hear her keys drop as she bends over to pick up the books. Finally, as she leaves the darkened room, she stubs her toe and silently holds in her frustrations.
It is moments like these when I wonder why I willingly decided to share a dorm room with another human being. I remember filling out the application for Columbia and hesitantly checking off the box to live in residence. I hesitated because of fear: the fear of losing my privacy, missing my peace and quiet, the possibility of having an intolerable roommate. I could have continued to live rent-free with my parents in Chilliwack – it’s a doable 30-minute commute to campus.
But my excitement was greater than my fear. Because I had commuted to a secular university last year, I was aware of the cons living off campus. At that school I felt as if I had lost the sense of community because I simply attended my classes and chose not to engage in the activities around me. Before long, I began to feel lonely and uninterested.
Life at Columbia is such a huge contrast. The community and teaching here are like nothing I have ever experienced. You are never bored due to the copious numbers of students who are always down for a deep philosophical chat or a hearty laugh – whether that be at three in the morning or three in the afternoon. Whether it’s with a first-year or a fourth-year student – there’s always someone! Columbia has been so welcoming.
And living in res at Columbia has been one of the best decisions I ever made. I know from my talks with commuters here that they definitely feel included in Columbia’s thriving community too. They have so many ways to get involved! But after my experience at my previous school, I needed something completely different. So I decided to live on a floor full of girls for eight months.
Life in the dorm can be exhausting, emotionally draining, and challenging. However, it has also been enlightening, inspiring, and encouraging.
There are annoying early morning alarms. But then I remember the times that we ordered pizza at one in the morning because we were unable to sleep. Or the time my roommate let me borrow her cardigan because all mine were in the wash. Or the time she let my sob on her shoulder because the stress of school had gotten to me. She is my best friend and support system. It is so nice to walk in after a hard day and vent as your roommate listens, carefully interjecting only to add kind advice. Despite our schedules being polar opposite and the fact that occasionally we fight, I would not change a single thing.