During last week’s New Student Orientation, while my daughter was meeting with a counselor to schedule her classes, I took off on a memory walk past the places I’d lived at IU. Last Friday, I told you about revisiting Robert and Cynthia’s.
Today, let’s look at college living and how it has changed, beginning with my dorm buildings (or, as the session speaker insisted, “residence halls”).
Here’s Willkie North, where I lived during my freshman floor. Eleventh floor, I think? Regardless, it was near the top. It was not air-conditioned. We had a box fan, but pretty much all it did was circulate hot air. So a lot of sweating went on — until we got cold. I seem to remember that the university turned on the heat November 1, regardless of temperatures. There were some pretty chilly late October nights.
Willkie North was girls only. Willkie South (not pictured), was guys only. In between …
… was this building, the cafeteria. Well, it used to be. Today, although it was locked, it looked like it held meeting rooms, and possibly a small dining commons, but it wasn’t like 30 years ago.
Walking on a ways, I came to my sophomore year dorm, Forest. There were two buildings, East and West. I lived in West, on the left. Forest had all girls. The top floor was referred to as the “virgin vault,” as guys were not allowed there at any time. I didn’t live there, although honestly I rarely ever remember seeing a guy on my floor anyway. Still, it was a bit of a burden to live on that restricted floor, as it seemed to connote that your parents didn’t totally trust you. I had a single room this year, and absolutely loved it. Communal living is a challenge for an introvert …
Here’s a photo of part of that beloved room. Note my modest collection of cassettes on the shelf, as well as my Halley’s Bible Handbook. I have a few plants, royal wedding pictures on the wall, and the ubiquitous-at-the-time collection of ribbons to tie around my neck inside the mini Lane chest on top of my fridge. Have I mentioned how much I loved this room? I have? Okay then. Here’s another photo with my awesome loft bed.
I headed over to the center building, home of mailboxes and the dining commons. And holy cow, check it out. Not sure if I’d landed in Disney World or what, but how snazzy is this? Definitely a step up from the no-frills dining room the place housed in the 1980s.
I mean. This reminds me a lot of a place where I ate earlier this year, in Hollywood Studios. Dorm dining has really come a long way in 30 years!
But some things never change. Here are the mailboxes, exactly as I remember them.
Do you have any memories of your college days? Have you ever returned to campus and seen differences?