Freshman Faux Pas: The Suite Life of a Freshman’s First Year

Freshman Faux Pas: The Suite Life of a Freshmans First Year

Vincent PhamRemember that one time when your suitemate threw up just as he walked through the front door? It happened to be on the carpet, in front of your room. You’d only assume that someone spilled water the night before, until another suitemate informed you of the aforementioned partygoer’s dignity spewed across the carpet. Or remember that other guy who found it too difficult to make it to the bathroom, so he threw up on your wall? I had noted that having a room closest to the bathroom had its few pros against its many, many cons. But most of all, no one would ever forget that guy who microwaved pizza for not three but 30 minutes.

As smoke rushed out of the microwave every nook and cranny of our living space, the fire alarm blared and my suite woke up our whole building at 12 a.m. What may have possibly ruined a couple’s rustle between the sheets actually made for a pretty memorable Valentine’s Day for having spent it with 10 other guys.

This all happened my freshman year and may seem like it’s bound to happen to you yet, but within my series of columns, I’ll piece together how all of this came to be. If this has all ready happened, I applaud you for getting properly intoxicated during your first-year endeavors. But if you were like me during my freshman year, it took a while to build those bonds between suitemates. It was a lot of time, a little social coaxing and the realizations that I was with these nine other guys for the whole year and that I might as well make the most of it.

A thought that never struck me before was that when you first meet people — be it for seconds or a few minutes — there is always a chance that your initial connection can grow into something much more. You really hope for these rich, fruitful conversations to arise and from there, by means of actively pursuing the individual (in the non-stalker and want-to-be-friends sense) or happenstance a bond will form. These are hard to come by, but when it does happen, you’ve unknowingly created your lifelong friends. Fortunately, dorm life presents people with the groundwork for a friendship like this to form. If you’re brushing your teeth, and a suitemate walks in, talk. If you’re stopping at the market, invite the girls across the hall to tag along. If you finally decided to hit the gym, bring a buddy.

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Granted, you feel like you haven’t been dealt the best suitemate hand — and you might be right. But you don’t want to come to that conclusion until you have at least given them a fair chance. What turned my freshman year from good to great was that I slowly and unknowingly changed my dorm, my suite, into my home. I no longer treated that corner of the campus I lived in just as a place to sleep but as a place where I could build relationships, grow and learn.

That’s where I stand as a sophomore. I surely do not want this column to act as a road map for a first year but to serve as an experienced opinion when it is needed. I say this because although my freshman experience was a mix of trial and error, great friends and a pinch of what common sense I had, there was always someone I could refer to when I needed to see out of my bubble. So here in this column, I delve back in time and recount the stories from sad to happy to absolutely unforgettable and hope that with this, freshman year becomes not just memorable but that year when you really set out to do all you ever wanted to do.

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