Well, I did it.
Today, I packed virtually all my belongings into my minivan and moved from the world of fields and family to what I will henceforth be calling the city.
It’s hard to believe this is actually happening.
But here I am, 3 hours and 150 odd miles away from everything I’ve ever known, living in a coed frat house.
Yepp…that’s right. I’m living in a frat house.
When I first heard about the offer, I was super excited. I got my own room, payed little in rent, and had easy access to two refracting lanes in the basement; what more could a first year optometry student want? Needless to say, I eagerly accepted.
Today though, as I pulled into the house driveway and peered up at my soon to be home, my enthusiasm waned. The house was nothing like I expected.
Now, as a disclaimer, I know frat houses themselves don’t have that great of a reputation. At my undergraduate institution, however, a majority of the frat houses were newly built, and well taken care of. Despite the pictures of my new living quarters that had hinted otherwise, I still pictured the house as a shiny, spotless, well-kept facility.
It is nothing of the sort.
Beer bottles litter the backyard.
The grass is tall.
The white paint is peeling off of the red brick beneath.
Broken glass is scattered on the fire escape.
There is no air conditioning.
The windows somewhat work.
And the heating system that lines my floor is broken.
Though I’m not the greatest at reading microexpressions, I’m pretty sure my mom was ready to grab the rent from my hands, throw me in the car, and insist that I reconsider my living arrangements.
How we made it from that initial impression the the moment where I sit on my floor and blog about the day’s adventures, I’m still not sure.
But I am grateful.
I’m surrounded by 15 of the nicest people I have ever met.
Everyone who was home came to my room and personally introduced themselves.
Every time we came through the front door, they yelled hello/goodbye to every member of the family.
Another first year not only volunteered to help me move in, but also donated a mirror and lamp to my room.
There is a piano in the house, so I no longer have to plan to walk to the conservatory to play.
And, most importantly, my room really is starting to feel like home.
That’s not to say that I’m not nervous.
This is so different and intimidating that I really don’t know what’s gonna happen next.
But I’m excited.