Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
April 16, 2024


Green shares how the ups and downs of dorm life have shaped her first year at Hopkins.

Upon arriving at college, I wasn’t so sure about how I felt living with a roommate — or, in my case, three roommates. Growing up an only child. I had never shared a room or lived with people my age before, and understandably, I was nervous. I have a vivid memory of the first time I met one of my roommates — she gave this tiny wave as she was moving in, we awkwardly introduced ourselves, and she closed the door to begin unpacking. She hates me, I remember thinking.

Before I continue with the story, I just want to explain something to you: our freshman year has been a string of disasters. Disaster number one: the blackout. 

Our first week of classes, just after sunset on a Wednesday night, the lights went out. It was pitch black. They didn’t come back on for seven hours, not until long after we were all asleep. Since we had just moved in, we didn’t know where anything was, so we stumbled around in the dark crashing into our beds and the piles of things we had yet to put away. We then decided to make the trek to the library to charge our laptops because we heard the library still had power. Upon leaving our dorm, we discovered that every building had power except ours.

When we returned, we thought it would be a great idea to watch The Conjuring and proceeded to scream nonstop for the next 112 minutes. We then crawled into bed and dreamed of being possessed in a creepy old house. 

Now I realize you can’t truly picture where this is all taking place, so let me set the scene for you: a tiny dorm, a shower head that has been replaced 14 times and carpets covered with hair because our vacuum refuses to work. The beds are so high that we need a stool to climb in, yet two of the four stools are completely defective and multiple wipeouts have taken place. I even bruised my tailbone sitting on one such stool while trying to tie my shoes. Another time, when one of my roommates wanted to sit next to me in my bed, her foot went through my stool, and she ended up on the floor five feet away after flying through the air with a dramatic scream. 

Some other details to note: we have a cute hand-me-down rug. It’s blue. There are mouse traps everywhere, placed in response to the mouse hole under my bed. We assume this hole was created by Sticky, our resident mouse that we soon found out had little mouse babies, which we named Sticky 2.0 and Sticky 3.0 (in case you’re confused, Sticky is a combination between Stuart Little and Mickey because we couldn’t decide on our favorite mouse name). 

A side note on Sticky 2.0: one night, I was awoken by screams. Sticky 2.0 was running in circles in our tiny entryway. We quickly realized that Sticky 2.0 was significantly more scared than we were, as he was just a baby mouse and we were huge humans. This didn’t stop our screams. Finally, we caught him with a bucket but accidentally killed him — either he died from shock or we smushed him a bit. We then proceeded to have a 3 a.m. funeral, which featured performances of “Amazing Grace” and “Wind Beneath My Wings.”

To continue: we have piles of shared snacks, a ghoul still hanging on the wall from Halloween and Polaroid pictures from October because my Polaroid camera broke. There’s a shirtless Harry Styles poster hanging in the bathroom (our only common space where we often congregate). He used to hang above the toilet but then nobody wanted to use our bathroom, so now he hangs out by the sink. 

We have a red flag wall and a wall of quotable moments because every time somebody says something funny, we need to write it down to relive the moment over and over again (my personal favorite is when one of my roommates didn’t know that Vermont was a state... or when that same roommate talked about how badly she wanted to have a colonoscopy). 

The room is almost never quiet — it is often filled with one or more of us breaking out into song, howling bouts of laughter or the sound of cheers as we show off our online shopping hauls in miniature fashion shows. 

Despite the trials of dorm living, I can truly say that my favorite memories of my freshman year have taken place within these four walls, and though our first year at Hopkins has been far from perfect, these little disasters have brought me my three best friends.

Molly Green is a freshman from Orange County, Calif. studying Writing Seminars.

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