By Lynnette Cagle, Contributing Writer
You’re coming back from a long day of classes, practices, and meetings, and all you want is a hot shower and an hour with the latest book in your favorite series before pulling the covers over your head and falling to sleep. It only takes two seconds after stepping onto your hall to realize that your hopes won’t come true. Several radios are blaring loudly, and some of your hall mates are in the hallway, laughing obnoxiously as they block you from getting to your room. Ducking into the bathroom, you instantly smell the unfortunate odor of an un-flushed toilet. Backing into the hallway, you squeeze past your hall mates and slip into your room, sighing as the Universal Studios overture plays loudly from the room next door. So much for your relaxing night. You wonder what it would be like to have respectful hall mates. Life on the hall would definitely be better.
It is doubtful that the halls in any of the Asbury dorms are as bad as this scenario, but you have probably gone through a similar experience at one point or another. There can be nothing more discouraging than an annoying hall mate. But what if that hall mate is you? Here at Asbury, community-centered living is important, and a vital part of the Asbury community dwells in the residence halls. If you want to help foster a healthy hall community, and not be the one disturbing the peace, here are three things to strive for: keep common areas clean, be quiet when you’re asked, and be friendly to your neighbors.
“Cleaning up after yourself when you use a common space” is one of the first suggestions that Mariah Humphrey, ARD of Glide-Crawford, has for being a good hall mate. “If you find something gross, then other people are probably going to find something gross,” Humphrey said with a knowing smile. Your room is your own, but common areas such as the bathrooms and laundry rooms are meant for everyone on the hall, and no one wants to find your mess waiting for him or her. “Be respectful of other people’s things that they may leave laying around,” Humphrey said. It’s not your stuff, so don’t touch it. On the other hand, Mariah also mentioned that you shouldn’t leave your stuff in common areas, because other people want to use the space.
Cleanliness is vital to the hall community, but there’s more to being a good hall mate than wiping your hair out of the bathroom sink. Andrew King, RA of 3rd Nerd in Trustees, said that, “The most common thing that people do is be loud after quiet hours.”
Whether this means turning down your TV to a reasonable volume or not having a hilarious conversation outside someone’s room while they’re trying to sleep, if your hall has established quiet hours, respect them. “It is something that’s important,” King said. “Some people have 8 a.m.’s and so they have to sleep.”
By now you’re keeping the microwave clean and being quiet after 11 p.m., but there’s still something missing from your contribution to the hall’s health and happiness. “Be available,” King said. 3rd Nerd is a hall that is known to facilitate fun and community among its residents, and that is only possible when everyone is open to interaction. Even something small, Humphrey suggests, such as “giving a smile to anyone you see on the hall,” can be incredibly encouraging and inspire a stronger sense of community.
According to King, hall community is about “learning how to live together, and respect each other so that you create a place that people want to live in and want to return to.” Even though this isn’t High School Musical, you really are all in it together. “Everyone is here doing the same thing you’re doing,” Humphrey said.
One last word to keep in mind: respect. With finality in his voice, King said, “It comes down to, do you respect the other people enough to live with them, and if you do, they will respect you back.”