In today’s video, I recall my first night of college and the embarrassing way I introduced myself to my dorm floor.
I moved away to college for the first time in the fall of 2014. The university I attended offered to move in students the day before the official move-in date if for some reason they needed the extra time. I took advantage of this because the room I was assigned to had one half with a window, the other half without, and I wanted to make certain that I had the better half of the room. My roommate was scheduled to move on the following day. This will be important later on.
So, the big day arrives and I have the car absolutely LOADED up with my crap. I really had a ridiculous amount of things. I was shoved into the back seat of the car holding a giant plant, while my father and boyfriend barely managed to fit in the front seat amid a microwave, more plants, and bag after bag of tchotchke nonsense. I assure you, that no matter how little you bring to college, you are unlikely to touch all but a quarter of it.
During this time, I am texting with a friend, also moving in that day, who is telling me that her family will spend the day with her helping her get her room set up and that she’s excited to show her boyfriend around campus. I’m not expecting my family to stick around–they’re more dump-and-go style–but I was pretty surprised when, after shuttling my mountain of trash up to the third floor, my boyfriend sees the tears start to spring to my face and turns to my father and says, “shit, time to go.”
They dashed down the stairs, out the front door and my first tear hit the floor just as I look out the window to see my father’s car lights break to reverse.
“Well played,” I muttered, taking in my wilting flower attitude and the disarray strewn about the floor. I wouldn’t have stuck around for the waterworks and forced labor either.
I spend the next several hours sorting through my bins of nonsense and shoving things in my closet and under my bed in frustration, where they would remain until I moved out that May. Am I ever going to iron my shirt? I’ve never ironed a shirt up until this point in my life and I don’t anticipate radical life changes for the better happening anytime soon. Goodbye, iron.
I also did my best not to start conversations with the girls milling about the floor, because, somehow, incredibly, they already seemed to have tight-knit friendship circles and I didn’t want to intrude. I secretly willed one of them to adopt me as one of their own and pull me into their midst. They were fast paced, flighty, bouncing in and out of the building from one plan to a next, collecting friends along the way in a way that I envied and made me suddenly shy.
I labeled them Extrovert, capital E, while I categorized myself… well…
Well, I mean, I only recently stopped responding, “Good enough,” when people ask me how I am because my younger sister informed me that it freaks people out and they don’t actually care about the answer. I slip on the skin of the Extrovert girl and flash a smile and a “Great!” instead. Target cashiers respond positively. I get better coupons.
This move ended up being my biggest college regret, but I’ll talk about that some other time.
So, night falls and the music swells, then quiets as the early hours of the morning march forth. By 3 a.m. I’m sweaty and exhausted but have my room in order. I decide I need to shower to clean off.
In my towel and robe, I slip into the bathroom across the hall where there is a line of showers. I do my thing and realize too late I hadn’t brought a change of clothes. Shoot, that’s alright, I’ll change back in my room.
So, I go back across the hallway and turn the knob. It doesn’t turn.
Shit, I’m locked out.
I walked down the hall to the door labeled RA, leaving wet footsteps in my wake. I shyly knocked on the door. No answer. She must already be asleep. Signs around her door advertised the front desk hours. It’s also closed. There is an emergency number I could call, but could I socially survive calling it on my first day? I don’t think so.
I stand there, embarrassed. Alright, Allyson, time to start a conversation.
I bang hard on my RA’s door, loud enough to wake her up. She opens the door.
“What,” she said.
“Uhhhhhhhh, I locked myself out,” I said.
“Didn’t you attend the floor meeting? I told everyone the doors automatically lock and to always keep a key on you,” she said.
“Uhhhhhhhhh, I did not,” I said. I skipped it.
My RA had to call emergency services anyway so someone could break me back into my room with a skeleton key. That service came with a hefty $45 fee, but she took pity on me and waived it because I was a dumb freshman and it was literally the first night.
However, the early morning fiasco did draw the attention of the other girls on the floor, who came out of their rooms to see the commotion. The sight of me in my towel, at 3 a.m., being broken back into my room by security was the talk of the floor for a few days. In a way, I finally introduced myself to my new dormmates, just not the way I had hoped.
For the rest of the year, we kept a note taped to the back of our door reminding us to take our keys.
Do you remember your first day of school? Share your stories down below!
Welcome, stranger! My name is Allyson. I am a recent college graduate, a writer and a traveler with stories to share. I post new content every Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday.