East Campus is my bigger box

If people who knew me in high school had to guess which dorm I would live in here, I don’t think many of them would have guessed East Campus. I was, and still am to a significant extent, the goody-two-shoes, straight-A’s, straight-edge girl next door. Luckily, I found a few friends in high school who were not about that life, who tore down the walls of that box I lived in with power tools and punk rock and endless adventures in a pick up truck. They cared deeply about me, and dammit they were going to show it by dragging me away from my homework as if their lives depended on it.

East Campus reminded me of those friends.

Don’t get me wrong: I had AMAZING friends before, girls I’d grown up with from elementary school who made me feel loved, special, accepted, and important, who still keep all my secrets and would still drop everything to support me in a time of need.

But sometimes, amazing isn’t enough.

Sometimes there are parts of you that you can’t recognize until you see them in someone else. Sometimes, you just need someone to be different, in any way at all, from the people you grew up with, from the person your family wants you to be, from the person you, for whatever reason, think you’re supposed to be.

Sometimes, you just need your damn box to be bigger.

I can be myself here because other people are being themselves, celebrating their own quirks, reveling in both what they have in common with each other and what they don’t. If you write “fuck” on the walls in bright pink and green, then I am free to dream, to imagine, to live in neon, to think and create in bold words unrestrained by someone else’s definition of propriety. I am free to be queer, polyamorous, pink-haired, short-haired (soon), vehemently feminist – and, when these aspects of my personality are questioned by the family and friends I grew up with, I have a safety net. I know others who are secure in their differences.

East Campus is my bigger box.