Dorm Life Ain’t No Good Life, But It’s My Life

By Desirae Kay Johnson

I had a privileged dorm room experience back in my undergraduate days at Columbus State University. I lived at the Rankin—a posh off-campus dorm/apartment building next to the Schwob School of Music. We had large, walk-in closets, full-sized kitchens and spacious bathrooms. I had to share my room with another student, but it was a small price to pay to live in an apartment that was nicer than the first one my husband and I resided in together.

Well, now I have moved back into a dorm room for my stay in Dublin…and it’s not much like my previous college campus living experience. I don’t have to share a room, and the one I have is nice enough, but I have a small closet, kitchenette and a tiny, shared bathroom with mold in the shower. Although it may not be much to look at, it is centrally located and within walking distance to all of my meetings.

Shower collage

However, I realized that some of the culture shock I have faced since arriving in Dublin might not be due to living in a different country, but to having a unique accommodation experience.

It has been quite a shock to the system to get used to dorm life again. First, the bathrooms are the hardest adjustment: I can’t bend over in the shower to pick up my shampoo; the water doesn’t drain properly, so I either have to run the water pressure at less than 50 percent, or wash quickly; and, it’s hard to feel clean after bathing in a shower with mold in the tile grout and on the ceiling.

Second, the kitchen is slightly different than what I’m familiar with at home—I have to flip various switches (similar to light switches) to turn on the appliances. That hasn’t been that hard to deal with though.

Kitchen

Third, there are always students coming back to the dorm at 2 a.m., no matter if it’s a Tuesday night or a Saturday night. And, when you’re already having trouble dealing with a new time zone, this can be problematic.

Finally, I’m living with limited WiFi access. I don’t have Internet connection in my room, and when I go on campus it’s never really strong. I never realized how dependent I was on Google until it was taken away from me. It makes me think of how lucky I am to live in a part of the world where access to the Internet is abundant; and, it makes me reflect on all of those debates we had in class on whether or not access to the Internet is a basic human right. Note to self: I will try not to take this advantage for granted again.

Courtyard and Hallway

Though, I think of my poor fellow cohort member, Tiffany, and her stories of waking up with roaches crawling on her toothbrush, and I realize how lucky I am to have a safe, roach-free dorm room.

But, it’s not just me who is lucky: All the students in the MAIGC program at Kennesaw State Universityare lucky to have this unique experience that will help prepare us for our international careers. This sentiment is reiterated by all of the professionals I have interviewed in Ireland who comment on how exceptional and impressive this experience is, and how much it will make us stand out to future employers.

But, don’t let me have all of the fun. Visit the Kennesaw State University website for information about this exciting and unique master’s program in integrated global communication.

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