Whether you’re a freshman living in Ellicott or an upperclassman upgrading to an apartment, the change from your previous home tends to bring about feelings of uneasiness.
For incoming first-year students, living in Ellicott is a chance to get to know your fellow students, while also transitioning away from dependency on your parents. I can recall the tearful goodbye to my mother as she sent her first-born away to college, a moment I’ll always look back on and smile about.
A week before this semester started, I moved into Hadley Village looking forward to my first true run-in with self-sufficiency.
Overall, it’s a huge upgrade from the non-air conditioned, non-furnished rooms I’ve endured in both Wilkeson and Porter Hall. The community building is not too bad either, with it’s own gym and mail room with respectable hours, unlike Ellicott.
While I should have been elated to finally have my own personal bathroom and kitchen, I instead found myself looking back on the two great years I spent in the dorms.
During my tenure in the residence halls, I often cracked the same jokes other students would make about the living spaces, like encountering hissing geese on the sidewalks or annoying encounters with RAs. That’s without even mentioning all the times I was accidently splashed with C3 canal water, which may have contributed to some of my illnesses over the years.
While frustratingly hilarious, moments like these never took away from the positive features of the dorms for me.
Dorm life was wonderful because of its simplicity. Friends were either down the hall, up the stairs or in a neighboring building.
This year, I’ll be lugging myself to other parts of campus in order to visit my pals.
While some may be quick to complain about their randomly assigned roommates, I was blessed to live with five amazing individuals over the years that were there for me through thick and thin. We did have our disagreements, but looking back on every argument, I find joy instead of regret.
I hope to build relationships of similar strength with those in my apartment as the year progresses, despite our personal bedrooms with queen-sized beds.
The lack of space in the dorms kept noisy and quiet neighbors close together – sometimes closer than I’d like us to be. I now can only hope to hear something to complain about given the thicker, more insulated walls in the apartments.
The days of waddling to the bathroom with shower sandals on and a shower caddy in hand are no more. Finally, I don’t have to worry about what may creep or crawl on the floor of communal restrooms ever again.
Hot and ready food was a walk to the Atrium away, despite the often-mediocre quality. Now, I’ll either have to will myself into cooking or submit myself to the pleasures of instant microwavable food.
Getting to class was a breeze, only a Stampede ride away. When winter rolls around, I’ll be wishing I wouldn’t have to face blistering winds on my walk to the spine.
Though I’ll never get back the times when my friends and I got together to go eat, play video games or simply make conversation – new memories will be made in my new apartment.
Thankfully, I’m only a GroupMe message away from meeting up with an old pal or arranging a Super Smash Bros. tournament somewhere on-campus, but it’ll never be as easy as hollering down the hall to see who’s down to do something together.
Apartment living may be the best on campus, but I can’t help but reminisce on the convenience of living in UB’s own Lego-shaped complex.
Benjamin Blanchet is an arts staff writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Benjamin Blanchet is the senior engagement editor for The Spectrum. His words have been seen in The Buffalo News (Gusto) and The Sun newspapers of Western New York. Loves cryptoquip and double-doubles.