Alex's Alliterative Adventures

Thoughts on Programming, Life, and Travel

The post about residence

When I left residence at the end of first year, I remember thinking that a completely unreplicable era was coming to an end. In a lot of ways, leaving residence marked more of a “coming of age” to me than going to university did. Residence was this microcosm untouched by the real world; your meals were served hot and piping from the caf, your classes were a 5 minute walk from your front door, and you were constantly surrounded by hundreds of drunks. The standard procedure to deal with hunger was to walk into the hall, yell “dinner”, and wait no more than a minute for anywhere between one and thirty people to join you. Responsibilities played second fiddle to good times, and there was a unspoken yet fully agreed upon trend that random socialization was the name of the game. It didn’t really matter what you were planning on doing; when someone announces that they’re covering every one of their neighbour’s belongings with seran wrap, you just realized how unimportant your meaningless plans really were.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t consider returning to residence for a minute. You just can’t do it, no more than you can decide that junior kindergarten was really a peak in your life, so screw it I’m going back to diapers. The appeal of residence came not from the close proximity, not from the individuals or the parties, but from the common identity. You were discovering yourself, learning what it meant to become a relatively self-sufficient adult, and finding out how you would adapt to this strange new world, and everyone around you was doing it at the same time. When that killer assignment was due in an hour, 3 other people were struggling to finish it within 20 meters of you. When you were standing outside in your underwear waiting for the fire department to put out the microwave, you were surrounded by 100 people you saw every day. Nothing was private, nothing was sacred, and you were never alone. There’s a comfort in knowing that when you come home every day, there are going to be 23 smiling faces who would love nothing better than to share a laugh or a smile with a kindred spirit.

I never expected to experience residence again, but I’m doing it all over again here in Sankt Lars. I didn’t let myself fully appreciate it until joining a picnic party a few nights ago. We had two beach towels, a few laptops for music, the tiled floor of our corridor, and a potted branch plant, and that was all we needed for 4 hours of laughs. I’m kind of disappointed that I let work get in the way of residence until now, but I did what had to be done, and now I can appreciate the finer things in life.

In other news, apparently australian girls hang out in their underwear.


7 Comments so far

  1. Grandma October 24th, 2006 12:07 pm

    You will experience this again when you have a “significant other” but you will need a large house if you are to have 23 smiling faces looking up at you- you will then return to changing diapers instead of wearing them. By the way what do Australian boys wear when they hang out – no wear?

  2. iulia October 24th, 2006 4:36 pm

    hey alex what about when we replaced their showerable goods with yogurt and and sprinkled their towels with blood powder?

    Teach them to mess with us.

    I miss res too. 🙁

    Also, skool is killing me. help.

  3. Alex October 25th, 2006 4:03 am

    I could imagine that. Sharing a house with the Greatest Housemates Ever(tm) is a pretty close second to residence, so I’d imagine that the secret is just being surrounded by those you care about, or at least those that make you happy. I can’t speak for the australian boys, I tend to pay less attention to conversations about their underwear.

    iulia: I enjoyed when you put a stinkbomb in their room and locked them in with an ingenious arrangement of spoons that put macguiver to shame.

    As for school, haha. Doesn’t OS suck? I mean, it’s a cool course, but when I was taking it I found myself really missing things like “sunlight”.

  4. Jamie October 25th, 2006 11:06 am

    I have NOOOOO idea what kind of crazy res you lived in…..


  5. Alex October 25th, 2006 1:35 pm

    It was an excellent res. I think one of the essential parts of a good res is that it has to be big enough. If there aren’t enough people, then samurai sword fights don’t break out often enough to be worthwhile.

  6. Jamie October 25th, 2006 8:02 pm

    Thats unfair!
    People died in my res ALL the time!


  7. Alex October 26th, 2006 2:46 am

    We only used kendo swords in an aim to maintain our population.

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