About the Author:
Madison McReynolds is from Fauquier County and is a rising senior at Highland School. She enjoys science and soccer, but not the two combined. Within science, she wants to know more about biology and medicine, which makes becoming a CNA very interesting and fun.
It’s hard to leave the comfort of your home and parents. That is a fact, even if it is for only four weeks, and you have to make your living space, well, livable. In my case, I had to make my dorm room at Virginia Tech home for the next four weeks. When I got on campus five days ago, I was not home and unprepared to face the reality that the suite I was placed in had to be my home, no matter what. I am a quiet person when it comes to new people, so I was afraid that people wouldn’t talk to me, and I wouldn’t have any friends. I also feared that roommate and I wouldn’t get along or that we wouldn’t say a word to each other (which has happened to me in the past). These fears, however, soon went away when I got to know my roommate and suitemates through the nightly news talks.
This is my first tip on how to make a home away from home: get to know the people around you, and while you may not know them like your family, it will make you feel a little more comfortable sharing the space with them.
My second tip is more physical and it is this: you should incorporate things and routines from your home into your new one. I did this with almost everything. I made sure to bring my essentials (like clothes, toiletries, etc.) from my house and not store bought. This helps because I can wear and use what I do at home. These essentials are organized
and put away, for example, I put all of my clothes into the provided dresser and organized my desk the way I do at home. I also made my bed with my sheets and brought my own pillow. My roommate also brought a rug, a picture, and some plants to make the dorm room feel less empty. This can help you feel comfortable with living in the dorm room.
Tip number three is the most important tip and it is to be yourself, which sounds cliché, but I promise that you won’t make a new home, “home” unless you bring yourself to it. It sounds simple, but in reality, there are many factors that can make us not want to be ourselves, such as worrying about what other people think of us or how we will be perceived by the staff. However, until you open yourself up, the others around you may not be able to open up themselves as well. I can tell you first hand that the best way to feel comfortable is to surround yourself with people who accept that, even if it means those people aren’t your suitemates. I was lucky in that department because now that I know my suitemates and feel comfortable with the people around me, I am myself. And I am home. This is because I am myself here.
The tips above helped me to be myself, making this Virginia Tech dorm home away from home, at least for now.