Fall break has come and gone. I had a week full of Michigander accents, caramel apples, late morning slumber, and frequent contact with my mother and extended family. It was wonderful, but as my roommate exclaimed as we reentered Hark 107 to find it just as we left it, "Man, it feels good to be home!"
Becca, that's my roommate, was right. It feels great to be back in Oberlin. In just two short months this quiet little town has truly become home. When I arrived here in August, I was amazed at how friendly and interesting everyone was. When I say everyone, I really mean everyone. Students and townsfolk alike, I have never been anywhere that has such great and polite people as here. That was reassuring to me in my early days of living in a new state. Now, that initial friendliness has been forged into meaningful friendships and houseships. My co-op genuinely feels like a home. The people down the hall from me are my best friends. Even those who dwell all the way up on the third floor (where my apathetic feet rarely take me), I still feel a sense of camaraderie with. Here is the place you can be whoever you are and be comfortable among others doing the same.
This blog post isn't about the comforts of Oberlin though, or even the comforts of Harkness. It is specifically about the comforts of my very own space here, Room 107, and the wonderful aforementioned Becca who lives with me there.
Becca and I are amazingly similar when it comes to the necessary habits. Same bedtimes. Same chill music preferences. Same cluttered-but-in-a-tidy-way living. Same adoration for GummiVites. Whoever matches up roommates in OSCA deserves an award for this pair. We also believe in really strong communication. So when something is off, or one of us doesn't like something the other's doing, we have no qualms about telling each other. This is a really good rule to live by, and I recommend it to anyone about to live with someone new for the first time.
Then there's my room. Oh, how I love my room. It's on the first floor, which is really convenient because I never have to walk too far and people tend to gather in the hallway outside of my door for fun times. (It's also slightly inconvenient when people are playing piano in the lounge late into the night.) My room is on the east side of the building with a great view of Harkness Bowl. My ceilings are high, I have a ton of storage, and my desk is large enough to hold all the paper and debris I toss on it and still retain some semblance of tidy. Most important are my bookshelves. Back on that first day when I entered my room for the very first time, my heart melted at the sight of my shelf space. I consider my books to be an extension of myself, so having a place for them meant that I had a place for me.
Increasingly, I find places here where pieces of me belong. My feet propped up on the couch boat in the lounge. My coffee mug on a table near the windows in Mudd. My money in the credit union down the street. My laughter across Tappan square on the way to Gibson's. My dance moves on a Friday night in the 'Sco. The more time I spend here, the more places I go, things I do, and friends I make, the more I think pieces of myself are a part of Oberlin and that Oberlin is a part of me. Increasingly, I find that my heart belongs here.