As I near the end of my junior fall semester, I find myself reflecting and thinking a lot about spaces around campus that I have come to feel like home. This year, I chose to live in an on-campus apartment suite, a popular option for many juniors. For me, however, my suite was pulled together rather randomly at the end of my sophomore year.
About a week before the housing deadline, I was asked if I wanted to join a group of people that I knew very tangentially; they were essentially some friends of friends of friends. But I thought- why not? This could be a great way of meeting new people. The first few weeks of living together were oddly reminiscent of my freshman year in college; we tiptoed around the suite and engaged in lots of light small talk. However, as the days went by, we started getting to know each other better, and began to create our little suite community. One night, a few of us stayed up and decided to decorate our common area.
Because we were a randomly thrown together suite, none of us came prepared with unifying decorations for the common room, so we embraced this randomness and decided that everyone would chip in something of their own to put up on the walls. I offered my Indian flag, while the others tossed around their belongings and chipped in an American flag, a tapestry, a blank sheet of red paper, fairy lights and a few books. With this eclectically-designed common room space, we find ourselves sitting together later on at night; studying, jamming, drinking tea and chatting. I’m beginning to realize how lucky I am to have the opportunity to share a living space with such a random, insanely smart, talented and down-to-earth people.
One suitemate, with a humorously nocturnal sleep-schedule, seamlessly juggles being an electrical engineer and a Tufts Bhangra team dancer. Another suitemate is a Varsity tennis player, and is majoring in computer science- she and I make the perfect study buddies; as she troubleshoots her code, I feverishly type out Spanish papers. When we walk back from the library at late at night, we have all started peaking over the wall to say hello to my other suitemate, picking at the ukulele, learning a new song every week with an incredibly zealous focus. Our in-house CDA has put up a whiteboard that has a new inspirational quote every week with frequent birthday greetings. And my last suitemate always brews hot water and offers everyone tea, especially during stressful exam weeks.
We are a random group of people that have somehow made a cozy little community. And for that- I am extremely grateful. As I get ready to part with Tufts (and the US) next semester, I’ll be sure to always remember my sweet little suite at Tufts.