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Scream it from the dormtops

By Amanda J. Feuerman
Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 28, 1998
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Arizona Daily Wildcat

Amanda J. Feuerman

I was talking with a friend from home the other day. Something like, "So, Amanda, where are you living this year?" And I responded something like, "Oh, I'm over in the dorms again." Something like that. What I remember more is her answer: "AGAIN? Why do you wanna live there again?" And I didn't understand.

I spoke with some other friends. I asked around. And I discovered something I never knew. Apparently, according to many of my peers, it is "uncool" to live in the residence hall after freshman year.

Why didn't someone tell me?

It makes sense, really. I mean, why would you want to live in a place where your friends are a two second walk away, your classes are down the street, and furniture and utilities don't cost extra?

If I want to, I can wake up 15 minutes before class, still make myself presentable, and easily be there on time. And if I want to squeeze in a nap between classes, I just take the short walk home, sleep and off I go again.

I don't have to carry any cash or credit with me; food is free and abundant in the refrigerator in my room. The cooler is filled with fresh, freezing cold water. And if the food stock is running low, I did manage to add a few bucks to my chip and the vending machines in the kitchen are always full of goodies.

I highly recommend the new ice cream machines.

But again, this is all "uncool."

Friends, friends, everywhere... I was bored this weekend, and much to my surprise (and pleasure), my neighbor was just as bored. My roommate may not be home all the time, but chances are, out of 370 residents, I can most likely find a friend.

Luckily, I have a car, but if I don't feel like driving, I have discovered the nicer souls out there freely offer rides.

And in those late night hours, when I just can't sleep, and the glow-in-the-dark stars on my ceiling are no longer amusing me, I am secure in the knowledge that a good friend is always downstairs in the lobby working on his latest painting and willing to talk. Or I can mosey on out to the front lawn at night while some talented residents play the guitar and we all sing along.

There is nothing like the security of friendship and I have it all around me.

But wait, I forgot, this is supposed to be a place for freshmen only.

And if ever my roommate does get unbearably loud - though we seldom have any kind of conflict - there is a 24-hour study lounge at my disposal, always quiet, always convenient. And often the lobby is a comfortable, quiet place to study.

The front desk, where my mail is organized, calls are routed, and there are conveniences to check out, is open until midnight. Vacuums, games, pots and pans, tools, movies, VCRs, even a television and pool equipment for our very own table are there. [Picture]

I even got a job there; I can mingle with friends and do my homework while attending to my duties as a desk assistant!

There's nothing like 24-hour convenience.

And in the residence halls there are some things that you absolutely will not find in an apartment or house: the resident assistant. Unbiased, always willing, very friendly, highly trained - a neighbor who is always there to lend an ear. And they are the coolest friends, too. I spend plenty of time with them outside the halls, as well.

And did you know even the hall director is a cool guy? He has the most bizarre, yet highly amusing sense of humor. Do not be afraid, the hall director is a friend and is not just there to discipline you.

Or is the staff uncool, too? Oops, my bad.

A long time ago, someone decided living in a dorm after freshman year was not a cool choice. Did I mention my neighbors are juniors, seniors, sophomores AND freshmen? Getting a house, paying high rent, driving to campus every morning in traffic, paying water and electricity bills, dealing with one or more roommates, spending time between classes in random spots on campus - this is a much cooler alternative.

Let's look at this picture: friends, staff, location... sounds convenient. So why is that uncool? Why do my friends look at me weirdly when I send them my new address?

Sorry folks, I don't know about you, but I am happy right where I am and have no desire to leave any time soon. I may move out next year, but I will never be regretful I decided to stay another year in the residence life system because it wasn't deemed cool by the majority.

Amanda J. Feuerman is an undeclared sophomore and can be reached at Her column, Swimming with Sharks, appears every Monday.