Today I move out of the little brown house on Manning Street and into the newly-refurbished Mauck Dormitory.
It will be nice to have a properly-heated room. Less nice to have to share a bathroom with more than two other people.
Still, I will miss this house, run-down as it was. Not because of my larger room or the abundance of community tea nestled on the top shelf of the kitchen, but because of the aggressive positivity that turned it into a home.
I am not used to having an abundance of female friendships. Growing up, I had my mom and a few close girlfriends. I have never been the girl that hangs out with 10 other girls at the same time. I’m not in a sorority. The last group of “girlfriends” I had was in early middle school.
This means I have more intimate friendships with the girlfriends I do have, but it also means I spend a lot of my time with boys.
Girl friendships are difficult for me. I despise doing the weeks, even months, of awkward friend-flirting, only to have the friendship fizzle. Sometimes, it’s because Things Happen. Sometimes not. Either way, it’s a wooing process, tiring and often fruitless. It’s left me a little jaded toward the idea of reaching out to make new girlfriends.
Living in Boardwalk changed that.
I hadn’t originally planned on living in the house, but was offered a spot after my planned roommate bailed at the last second. I’m grateful now she did.
I have never seen a house get along so perfectly. The living room was always littered with twinkle lights and candles. Some sort of baked good cooled on the kitchen counter at least once a week. When I wandered into the kitchen in the morning, still blurry-eyed and bed-headed, I was always greeted with at least one cheery “good morning!”
Twelve girls in one house seems like a lot. It is. Every space in that house was crammed with something. Books, food, and homework, but also joy, laughter, and love.
Don’t get me wrong. We weren’t gathering in the living room every night to giggle and swap makeup tips. But knowing there were others just down the hall who would be there for me, who would let me vent, and who I could support equally, that was exciting.
The women in Boardwalk showed me why female friendships that are unequivocally and passionately positive are of unmatched importance. Having such a positive experience with 11 other girls at once gave me the desire to once again pursue female friendships. They made me a better person, a more confident person, in just a semester.
So thank you, Boardwalk. A few twinkle lights and a little bit of a laughter made a little run-down house feel like home.
Here’s to a new dorm, a new semester, and new friendships. Welcome to Mauck.