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Phillips: Dorm has become a second home; roommates a second family

By Jenna Phillips
On September 28, 2010

I have to admit, much to my parent's disappointment, I have been caught calling Ottawa University "home."

The home I grew up in, of course, will always be my official "home." Nonetheless, that has not stopped me from calling my dorm room at OU my home.

The truth is I find myself doing this because it is where I now spend the majority of my time.

Just like home where you grow up, the dorms at Ottawa University provide many of the same feelings.

In the dorms you have your own personal space that you can use for whatever your heart desires, just like your room at home.

During the first week of school, we bring in all our belongings that are essential to living and keep them here.

Another similarity is the social aspect. Where you may not always have your family around in the dorms, you develop a new family. Your friends and neighbors in most cases become a tight-knit group that will support you as well as entertain you.

I have noticed a great amount of camaraderie within sports teams, clubs, and friendships that are created here on campus. They all remind me of "home" in a way.

In my dorm room especially, I think it feels like home by the way my roommate and suitemates share responsibilities. We all take turns doing the dishes, picking up, cleaning the bathroom, etc., the same way I had chores to do at home.

There are many similarities between the dorm and home. However, there are many differences as well.

Even though you have to share a living space with others at home, it is different in the dorm. The living room is a lot smaller, for one.

I have also learned the hard way that sharing a bathroom with three other people or more is not the most fun task.

Everyone has their own schedule and you will not always get your choice of living partners. From what I have heard, I am very lucky to get along great with everyone I share a dorm with. A lot of people clash with their dorm mates.

One thing I definitely miss the most about my home is home cooked meals as well as my parents paying all my bills.

It is all a part of growing up I suppose, however, even though I live less than 20 minutes away from campus, I still get homesick on occasion.

Whenever I notice the differences, good or bad, about the dorm not being like my home, I sometimes get the nostalgic feeling of missing my small town of Wellsville, Kansas.

No matter what, I know I am in the right place. I can honestly say I love Ottawa University and the dorm life is what contributes to this.

I enjoy being surrounded by my friends. They have become my second family and provide an amazing support group.

Independence away from my parents is good as well as it allows me to grow and experience the "real world."

Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines "home" as one's place of residence, a social unit formed by a family living together.

I think this makes up what living in the dorms is to me. The fact is that I have found my new "home" here at OU and

I would not have it any other way.

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