I love my dorm. I do. But sometimes there are things about a dorm and living in one that makes them not particularly conducive to student living, much less writer living.
This seems counter-intuitive but suspend your disbelief for but a moment and I think you’ll all be able to see very plainly what I’m getting at.
First of all, noise. This is the most obvious thing, so I’m bringing it up first. There are all sorts of noises in even the quietest of dorms, which my own dorm is not. In fact, in the computer lab of our quietest dorm, one can hear the people playing billiards in the next room as if they were in the lab itself. Talk about driving someone mad….
Another thing with noise, however, is music. People in college apparently think it’s a great idea to turn their music up so people in the NEXT BUILDING have to listen to it. That’s not an exaggeration. It’s small wonder our generation is suffering from hearing loss.
My dorm is particularly difficult to live with at times because of our AC system. AC is great, but ours is one where you can’t control the temp, it’s the same for the whole building. While there are obvious issues with this, one that isn’t so obvious at first is the fact that you can hear things from all over the building through the vents. Sometimes it’s creepy, sometimes it’s gross, sometimes it’s just downright annoying.
Apart from noise, there’s also the other issue that the AC presents in my particular case, which is climate control. I have poor circulation to begin with, but add in the fact that it’s always below sixty degrees in my room and I can’t wear gloves and type properly, among other things, one can probably imagine many ways in which AC that can’t be individually controlled is problematic.
Then there’s shared bathrooms.
Shared bathrooms don’t have to be bad, and this certainly isn’t my worst experience with them. But let’s look at this from a creative perspective, shall we? Are bathrooms not the room where most people go to think? How does this change when your day-to-day bathroom is a place where other people also go in and out without knocking, constantly intruding on your thoughts with their sounds, smells, etc.? There’s a certain self-consciousness that comes with sharing a bathroom, even with just a couple of people, and this certainly does not lend itself to creative thought. That’s why I try to shower before anyone else on the floor is awake, not so that I make sure I get a shower, but so that my brain isn’t too self-conscious to create.
At the moment, that’s all that comes to mind, so it’s probably good for you all that I’m working on a paper as well, so that I don’t end up driving you off the wall with my complaints about dorm life being stifling to creativity. I’m too busy writing about how the home can drive a person mad. 😀 Maybe I’ll tell you about it sometime.