Almost every college student experiences life in the residence halls at least once. Whether you’re an incoming freshman who is required to live in the dorms or a transfer student who wishes to live in the upperclassmen dorms, the experience is widely shared. I spent my first year in college in a residence hall and it was a wonderful experience. You had friends all around you, you could find a meal just downstairs, and you only had to clean one room and a bathroom instead of an entire house.
Granted, there are some downsides to the dorms, such as the lack of a proper kitchen or the notoriously thin walls. However, one of the greatest downsides to my time in the dorms wasn’t the inconveniences, but rather, an unruly hall mate. Not as much unruly as she was, well, insane.
I will call her Loca because I feel like that is the word that describes her best: crazy. Loca lived in the first room on the right of the hallway so no matter what you did, you would always have to pass her room when you went to your room or left it.
Loca began the school year with a roommate who was a really sweet girl. Loca did not like the company of others and by the third week of the semester, her roommate had packed up and moved back home. I never heard the true story but the poor girl left in tears.
Loca then took advantage of her solitude and filled her room with drugs, alcohol, and her boyfriend. I never heard her address him by his name, but I’ll call him Kale. I am not making this statement figuratively either; her boyfriend literally moved into her room without the knowledge of our resident advisor. Loca pretended to lose her key, paid for a new one, and gave it to her boyfriend so he could get in and out of her room without her. Yes, Loca had a bit of evil genius in her.
I’m not sure how her boyfriend stuck around the whole year. All she ever did was whine and complain and sneer at anyone who gave her a glance. Her short, jet-black hair and punk rock clothes matched her dark personality. A ride in the elevator with her always proved to be an awkward one.
Now I’m not one to judge the relationship, I’m sure Loca had a lot to offer Kale. After all, we often heard what she had to offer him during all hours of the day. I suppose she did not recall the paper-thin walls. Or maybe she was trying to show off.
The single event I remember most was the day her room flooded. My hall mate and I were about to walk to the study lounge when Loca was yelling and running frantically down the hall. “Our room is flooded! Does anyone have the number to maintenance?”
I have, in fact, cleaned up the expletives that were heavy in every sentence that left Loca’s mouth. Being the great hall mates that we were, my roommate and I quickly looked up the phone number on the computer. We were curious why she hadn’t done this herself until she shouted again. “Now I have to hide the drugs!” No, I’m not joking.
Now this was the most interaction I had had with Loca so it was all a very odd experience. My hall mate and I stuck our heads inside her door to rattle off the phone number. The smell of marijuana instantly met our noses. She was indeed hiding bags of mushrooms and weed and her boyfriend’s dirty t-shirt. She didn’t bother moving her cigarettes though.
Water about a centimeter high had made its way from the bathroom.
“Oh, the guinea pigs!”
Yes, I told you, this girl was insane. Loca then explained to us how she kept two guinea pigs in her bathroom. She told us that her friends had been going to kill them so she offered to keep them. I didn’t even want to imagine the kind of people she hung out with because it made me queasy.
Anyway, she named the black one Malcolm X and the speckled one something equally race-conscious. Yes, she was a classy girl.
She had apparently called Kale to help her with her dilemma and he was in her room in a hurry. For whatever reason, the boy was not fond of shoes. I still remember a 3 a.m. fire drill in January where we all stood outside freezing, and he was out there barefoot. Don’t ask me how my resident advisor didn’t find out a guy was living in the dorms. Apparently Kale’s skinny stature blended in with everyone else with their hoods up that night.
Loca started barking demands at her beloved so my hall mate and I decided it was time for us to go. Maintenance would get there soon anyway and since we had witnessed a room flooding before, we knew the type of equipment they would have to bring in.
I didn’t see Loca for a couple of days. The next time I did, she was wearing a dress similar to something I owned. Funny thing was, it was meant to be a shirt, but I suppose Loca was experimenting with her seductive side. As always, she had Kale right beside her. Nothing is more awkward than being in the same elevator lobby as an awkward couple who are canoodling with each other.
Loca saw me and quickly looked away as if she had forgotten that I was half of the duo who had saved her room from complete ruin. Maybe that was an exaggeration, but this did not surprise me in the least; I did not expect a hello from the girl who insulted other girls and had blatant disregard for all of the rules. I actually preferred the silence.
Unfortunately, every school year must come to an end, but I will never forget Loca. I assume every dorm has their hallway crazy, but I’m glad mine was so extreme that she seemed unbelievable.