Living with a Dog vs. Living with Roommates – College Version 😜 from an Introvert 🤐

So there are things about being an introvert and socially awkward and shy all at the same time that makes it hard to talk with people. At least for me, it does.

In my first year of college, my dog lived with me, but because of financial reasons, I changed apartments and decided not to take my dog with me because I wasn’t sure if my roommates would approve.

I didn’t realize how much of an socially awkward, shy introvert I was until I moved in with roommates. We had separate rooms and separate bathrooms – which is a great relief to me – but we shared the kitchen and living room.

And it was a mess and is currently getting messier. Dishes litter the sink and counters. Full trash bags line the wall. The doors for the washer and dryer are wide open and in my way whenever I get in/out of my room.

I realize now that even though I’m free from taking my dog out every few hours and walking him every day, I’m still somewhat distracted and want to get out of my apartment with every chance I get. I’ve driven in the dark – a horror for me – late when the sun has already set to go take a 30-minute and sometimes hour drive home to my parents, sister, grandparents, and dogs.

I thought I wouldn’t start craving social interaction since I had roommates.

But they don’t speak to me unless we’re passing by. In fact, on the day I moved in (they were already moved in months before me), all three (yes, three) of them were gone despite the memo on the table in the living room saying I was coming on that day. Okay. Maybe one of them was there. But she didn’t even respond to when I was asking if someone was at the apartment while I wandered around the living room and kitchen like a lost child.

They barely left any space for me in the kitchen cabinets and any cabinet, really. The fridge smelled. The sink smelled. My sister, who came in to help me with the move-in later on, was so disgusted with the fridge that she refused to open it to put my drink inside because she feared she would vomit without knowing where the trash can is.

I realize now that I miss my dog. And my comfortable privacy when I lived alone – not these awkward encounters with my roommates every now and then when I go to the kitchen or head out for school.

I was able to talk to my dog, hug my dog, walk with my dog, play with my dog, be comforted by my dog whenever I had bad school days – and I can’t technically do any of these things with my roommates, especially since I don’t even see any of them a lot. We don’t even eat together or even have a basic talk about taking out the trash or washing the dishes or when to do laundry.

But of course, it’s not always bad living with roommates.

To be honest, I preferred my roommates I had during a summer program at a different university while I was still in high school. We talked together, ate snacks together, and even danced in front of the restroom mirror we shared.

So, I guess, it all depends on the living situation and the roommates you get, but if you’re as shy and socially awkward as I am, you’ll probably have a hard time just communicating with your roommates. I didn’t start dancing with my roommates from that summer program until I lived with them for eight days (out of the nine we were staying there).

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A Gentleman’s C

Recently my philosophy teacher gave us a lecture not so much on philosophy (besides that one morning on his lecture about taxes, this was new for us). He talked about the importance of liberal arts and asked us if we knew why we were taking philosophy, which is a liberal art.

He explained that, at least in the United States, many of the older colleges – Ivy League colleges now – started teaching liberal arts in order to have well-rounded students. They knew that their students would become great influential people in the future. Most of the recent presidents, in fact, were from Ivy League schools.

And then we got to talking about the gentleman’s C.

I thought he said gentlemancy or some made-up word like that.

He told us that he didn’t expect an A from every one of us and that if we did get an A in every class, we were doing something wrong.

Because college is supposed to be about exploring your options, making new friends, experiencing new stuff, etc. He even got to the point that he explained how some colleges don’t even have police. (My professor grew up in Canada and said that the US colleges surprised him with all the rules and even in-campus police departments) He said that growing up, you were taught rules, but in college, there were no (enforced) rules. We were supposed to break rules and learn why those rules are needed.

But back to the point – a gentleman’s C.

He said that if you had a C, it was because you at least read through the material of a class and had a basic understanding of it. And with this basic understanding, you’d be able to talk about the subject with other… gentlemen. But he added that it was OK not to ace all your classes because you also need time to relax, play sports, party, etc. – AND THAT IS OK because it’s all part of the college experience.

So for those of you in college, relax. 😉

(but for those of you like me that still strive for high grades, good luck 😄)

Living Alone

Let me talk about living alone for a second.

I’m eighteen. I’ve lived not only with my parents and my sister but also my grandparents – that’s six of us in the same house plus dogs (usually at least two) and some noisy birds (plus an occasional fish). I only cooked for myself a few times but stopped when my younger sister started cooking enough for the both of us. When we were younger and our parents were away, our grandparents would cook for us.

I never really did chores except taking out the trash, cleaning the pool, bathing the dogs, and washing the car when I was a kid. As a teenager, my high school life consumed me. I was barely functioning. My parents became busier, and my grandparents cooked less, so much of my food comprised of fast food (I used to eat fries every time before going to karate practice).

So, as an “adult” living in an apartment all to herself with just a dog for company, a lot of stuff changed.

I had to take out my own trash, which was no big deal for me. I had to drive myself to school, which is only a five to seven minute drive. I had to take out the dog, who was thankfully potty-trained.

But I had to cook for myself. I had to drive from my college’s city to my family home in another city every weekend on an special days, such as birthdays (four birthdays in September all in the same week consumed nearly all my gas).

Cooking was a near disaster, and right now, I’ve resorted to drinking protein shakes in the morning so I wouldn’t cook. Driving is okay, but there have been many instances when I was caught in traffic or scared for my life with speeding cars and cars cutting in front of me without signaling they were changing lanes.

And waking up is one of the hardest things, but thankfully, my dog starts running when he hears my alarm to make sure I get out of bed to take him out.

So, that’s living alone for me. 😂