Housing: Responses Matter Most (The 9th Thing I Learned Sophomore Year)
Explanation: I’m going to be super honest and tell y’all that I’m definitely partly responsible for many of the arguments both this year and last year living in a Mayfield, a house with 9 other people. Growing up with three sisters, I’ve never been super conscientious about mess, which definitely carried over into college living situations. But it’s been a process of getting better, and last year, our RA gave us the best advice: Responses Matter Most. I’ve tried to keep that in mind in these past months – it’s such a powerful saying
I stared at the dishes in the sink. I had never seen anything like it – the pile was as tall as the faucet. In order to do the dishes, I would actually have to take them out of the sink.
Now, I was definitely one of the probably 5 main contributors to this problem. Maybe a quarter of those dishes were mine. But I felt unjustly angry as I looked at the other dishes – my roommates were so messy!
Which, of course, was how everyone else felt.
Responses matter most in housing situations. Living in a Mayfield, a house with 9 other roommates, was and is definitely challenging. Besides the dishes, there was the bathroom soap situation (always having to refill), the toilet paper situation (for a little while, our custodian didn’t give us as much as was needed), the showers, the messiness of our common room, etc. While everyone had their own room (“a single”), we all shared a joint common space in the downstairs of the house, as well as two bathrooms. And because at least half of us spent way more time on the outside of the Mayfield than we did inside of it, we would come home tired, stressed about the next day, and seeing other people’s mess was often increasing stress-inducing.
Now, you’re probably thinking that wow, you don’t want to live in a Mayfield with nine other roommates. Hey, it can be fun! I’ll go into that in another post. And you learn so much about people. Wherever you live, though, you’re going to have discussions about the trash, the recycling, soap, toilet paper, dishes… and you will probably be living with at least one very-clean person. This goes for a double on Commons, a suite in Kissam, Towers, Morgan, or Lewis, and especially a Mayfield.
I’ll try to go into the different housing situations you can be in in another post, but I’ll just stick with the lesson I learned for now: if someone else’s dishes are causing you stress (the first time), just do them. If the floor needs to be swept, just sweep it. Try to talk to the person whose job that is later, but if you’re going to complain about it and you’ve never done that chore before, think before you complain. It’s a lot easier to take a deep breath, do the chore, and be done in ten minutes, than it is to keep up a passive-aggressive argument for weeks. Also, be considerate. If someone else’s dishes don’t cause you stress but they’ll cause yet another roommate to tense up, just do those dishes. Especially if they’re not someone else’s dishes but your own. And if you have to keep doing someone else’s chore(s), have a conversation with them about it, because caring about yourself is so important, and you don’t want to be walked over.
I hope this helps, y’all! :) As always, let me know if you have any questions or something I should add, about this or anything else!
P.S. Oh, and just an update. Yes, I did finish the dishes! And it made the following days so much happier.