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Allen House Dorm Cluster

A lot has changed since my freshman year. One of the best changes for me was having roommates once again. Let me tell you more about it!

Growing up, I always lived with other people. I shared a room with my younger brother and stayed with cousins and relatives on holidays in crowded households. I was also a boarding student for three years in high school. Though I was in a one-room double, meaning I had only one other roommate, I shared the same living spaces with eight other girls on my floor.  I could not ask for a better roommate, who ended up becoming one of my best friends, not only in high school but for life.

Despite being used to living with other people, when Dartmouth sent me the housing survey the summer before freshman year, I asked for a single. I liked living with other people well enough, but I also needed my alone time and had sleeping issues that I did not want to burden anyone else with. I was lucky enough to have a big single in Bissell Hall, in the Choates freshman dorm cluster. I do not regret asking for a single, but in spring term I realized I missed sharing a room with people I genuinely liked being around. That's why I was more than happy when one of my closest friends on campus asked me to room with them. When it was time to pick a room through the housing selection process, one of my other friends ended up joining us. I felt incredibly lucky that I was bringing these two amazing people together.

Flash forward to sophomore fall. We now live in Gile Hall, which is part of the Allen House dorm cluster and is next to the Cube, the student center for Allen and School house. The best thing about Gile is its location. Located near the center of the campus, Gile is only a five-minute walk away from our main dining hall and the Baker-Berry Library. We have a two-room triple with a private half-bath: two rooms for three people. The room felt a little small, especially considering how all three of us had lived in spacious singles the previous year. But with a little configuration, we made the room a more comfortable living space for all three of us. We even got an avant-garde centerpiece to represent our trials and triumphs in making the room truly our own. We still have a bit of decorating to do, but that is always hard for us international students who cannot bring much stuff to put in our room. Speaking of international students, let me talk about the best part of the room: the people in it.

I am proud to say we have a very international room. Tianwen is from China, Julie is from Mauritius (look it up!), and I am from Turkey. There are times when three different languages are spoken in our room when we are all on the phone with our loved ones, and none of those languages is English. We share a lot in common; our values, worldviews, and principles are more than compatible. It also helps that we go to bed around the same time. We still have a lot of differences, which enrich our conversations and our time together.

Some of my favorite memories from this year are with my roommates, just chatting in our room. Sometimes, very little work gets done because we are great at distracting each other through many interesting discussions regarding mental health, gender politics, or just gossip. But I would not have it any other way. I am so lucky to have met people that I can learn from, look up to, and share a living space with in harmony.

Tianwen and Julie - I dedicate this blog post to you!

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