Abstract Thinking: Life in LaFollette
Abby is a freshman journalism major and writes "Abstract Thinking" for the Daily News. Her views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Abby at email@example.com.
11 p.m., Thursday night.
Sit up in bed. Turn up the fan so you don’t sweat to death in your sleep. Watch centipedes run across the floor and into the closet. Lay down and go back to sleep.
Welcome to LaFollette.
This is the beginning of my story for the next eight months of my life. The ups and downs of living in the residence hall with the worst reputation, coming to life through my words.
The day residence hall assignments were sent out, I felt my heart sink to my feet. Even as an incoming freshman, my roommate and I had already heard the horror stories of LaFollete. From no A/C and elevators that only reach the sixth floor to the ongoing demolition of different halls connected to the complex, this place was shaping up to be straight out of a Tim Burton film.
On move-in day, I met an upperclassman girl on the same floor as me who helped me lug all of my belongings to my room. I will forever be thankful for this girl because she instilled my first sense of hope toward the timeworn building that was sprawled in front of me.
We took a break from moving the mountains of my possessions and sat down on a cart to rest. I ranted to her about my fears of living here and she immediately chimed in with the most optimistic comment. “At least you’ll have killer legs by the end of the year from climbing these stairs,” she said.
That one sentence was enough to make me rethink my entire impending experience. Not because she was right about the major leg workout, but because she took an issue going through everyone’s mind on the eighth floor and made it seem minor compared to the benefits.
Right off the bat, I started seeing the positive things in LaFollete that everyone tried to talk about in an attempt to make you feel better. The first thing that you notice about this residence hall is its prison-like lighting and of course the sense of community. The doors are always open if anyone is home, which means we are constantly flowing in and out of each other's’ rooms. It’s not uncommon at all for a floormate to just pop into your room and ask how your day is going, or see if they can borrow some nail polish.
Our nights are highlighted by impromptu dance parties in the hallway with the Electric Slide and long games of Cards Against Humanity that always leave me feeling like I know my floormates a little too well.
I’ve also come to the conclusion that even though this may be the case for the female floors of LaFollette, it’s definitely not the same for the males. The halls were lined with stray socks, garbage and shirtless boys. One trip to the deep recesses of floors one through four left me feeling like I was in dire need of eight showers and a tetanus shot.
Another big thing I saw was that there was not a single door propped open, which eliminates any chance of making friends with the other inhabitants of the floor. Boys, I can assure you the guy next door won’t think you’re weird if you ask him to hang out.
College is a learning experience, so take that shot and make a memory from it.
My views on this building, which is so close to its own graduation, are skewed and all over the place, but they are my own. I am already developing a love-hate relationship with LaFollete and maybe by the end of my stay here, I will have a definite opinion on the lovely subject of my writing.
Maybe I’ll die of an infectious disease or a short in the sketchy circuits. Maybe this will turn into the best year of my life.The world and I will remain undetermined on this matter until I have reached my full experience.