Photo: Rachel Reich

Year one: the dramas of living in residence

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By Nicole Di Donato 
​When I graduated from my high school, I thought I would never have to deal with the same pointless drama ever again. But now that I’ve lived in residence for a couple months and everyone on my floor has become comfortable with each other, I’ve started to feel like I never graduated.
Although university is much different than high school in the sense that there is less pressure to be friends with people you don’t necessarily want to be friends with, I have found that living in residence kind of forces you to become friends with the people on your floor, or at the very least, make small talk with them in the elevator on your way to class.
I know this doesn’t sound all that bad—the main reason I chose to stay in residence in my first year was so that I would be able to meet lots of new people. However, when you are living together, it’s extremely hard to maintain your privacy as everyone knows your business and has an opinion on the things you do.
My high school wasn’t that big so whenever something would happen, if you hooked up with someone at a party or got into a fight with your boyfriend, the news would travel fast.
Since I live on a floor with about 30 to 40 people, it is easy for rumours to spread—even if they aren’t true.
I’ve had experiences where I will be walking to class or doing an assignment with a guy and people will assume that we are more than just friends because we are hanging out alone.
Another thing I’ve found to be very “high school” is how people are fake to each other. I don’t understand how people find the time to go out of their way to say things behind each other’s backs and then pretend like everything is okay when they are face to face with the person.In residence, I have met guys who make it clear that they aren’t into a girl but they still sleep with her every night.
I’ve also found that some people in residence feel the need to follow the lead of others and do things they normally wouldn’t do in order to be liked. People feel inclined to drink, party and do certain drugs they never would have imagined doing, just because the people around them are doing those things. I was a follower in grade nine and ended up falling into the wrong crowd because I tried to make friends by being who I thought other people wanted me to be.Luckily I’ve learned from my past and have focused on becoming friends with people who like me for who I am. I hope the people I see struggling to fit in realize that the best way to be liked by others is to be themselves.
Other than feeling like a high school student all over again, living in residence has been a good experience and has allowed me to learn even more about myself and the people around me. Although I hate having to deal with pointless drama, I am glad to have some good friends on my floor that I can trust and rely on when things get tough.
Everyone, including myself, still has a lot of growing up to do. Just because we are living away from home and are in university, the reality is that we are still very young and have to learn how to deal with conflict in our social lives.

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