Tag Archives: dorm room

An Open Letter to My First Year Dorm Room

Dear dorm room,

It’s been more than a year since I last saw you, but every now and then I miss you. You were an island of familiarity in an ocean of uncertainties. You were walls I could hide behind when I needed to cry, and you were the place I could blast my music (at reasonable volumes, of course) and dance around and get pumped up. You were my study space, my dining room, my movie theatre and my Sunday sleep-in. You were cozy and warm when it rained and let the sun in when it showed its face.

I unfolded my personality all over your walls, and filled the drawers with little bits of memories – and soon I was bringing in momentos of new experiences, too. You were filled up with “me,” and you were my home base so that I could venture out and start building my own life.

I have to say, I have greatly enjoyed moving on to my own apartment, but I still think of you and smile. You were a place I could always come back to, and you were like a friend in a place where I knew no one.

I certainly wasn’t the first friend you ever knew, and I wasn’t the last, either. It’s good to know you’ll be there to be a little piece of home for excited and anxious first years in the future.


A former bewildered first year.

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What a Dorm Room Looks Like

In the months before moving in, you’re dying to see what your new room looks like. I know that feel.  So, here’s a picture of a typical first-year dorm room:


This is a single room in Totem Park. Large singles, doubles, and rooms with connecting bathrooms will looks a little different.

Also, I made a video of a tour of my room last year after I moved in for my friends at home to see, so you can check that out as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWFeWKMsKpk.

(Please forgive my terrible vlogging skills in this video, it was my first one.)


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Packing up a dorm room

It’s not fun.  Not by a long shot.  Even if you aren’t affected by the sadness of packing away eight months of memories and a little space you carved out to call home, and the dread of saying goodbye to the awesome friends you have made this year, trying to find a space for the unbelievable amount of stuff you have accumulated is hardly a party.

Seriously, you say to yourself, I came here with what, five, six boxes of stuff?  There must be at least fifteen now!  I am no scientist.  I don’t know how it happens.  But it just always does.  Trying to squish all of it into the tupperware my parents bought for me to put into storage was stressful.  It was close, and I had to bring in an emergency cardboard box, but I got it done.  Getting what I wanted to take home into my suitcase and carry-on, well, that was a really close call.  Thank goodness my dad and sister were there with me to take a couple extra carry-on bags!

But the feeling of going through knick-knacks you somehow acquired with your friends, pictures you pinned to your now entirely covered bulletin board, and carefully peeling your posters that you bought at Imaginus days at the SUB off your wall can be one of melancholy.  When finally it’s all been put into boxes and taken away, it just feels so… empty.  It isn’t really yours anymore.  It looks the way it did when you showed up on the first day, all scared and excited.

That last night, well, it feels kind of strange.  With your drawers emptied, shelves vacated, and desk de-cluttered, it is somehow foreign, and you find yourself having a little bit of trouble falling asleep. The next morning, you do a final sweep of your ghost town of a room, double checking the closet and under the bed.  You pause in the doorway, and take it in one last time.  You look at your door, now bare of the name paper your RA made for you and the pictures you coloured out of a colouring book.  One last, final glance into your vacated room, and close the door.  Turn that key, and lock the door – for the last time.  Swallow back that lump in your throat.

No folks, it’s no fun, but it’s gotta happen.  Nothing lasts forever.  It would be reasonable for me to recommend starting to pack at least a week before, maybe doing one box every day, because doing it all in one day really does suck, it really is exhausting.  But I feel you, my soul sibling, if you just don’t want it to end.  You want to trick yourself into thinking there’s still plenty of time left.  There isn’t, but I feel you.  It’s okay.

Just think about how fun it’ll be to move into a new place next year! :)

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