There’s a Stranger in my House

I’m about to enter the last lap of my life as a grad student in an American university, and in addition to that, I’m about to turn the BIG 25 very soon (in less than a week, actually.. :P), so as a result, I’m in a very contemplative mood for the past few days.. No, it’s not the whole “quarter-life crisis” brouhaha, thankfully! I don’t really care too much about that.. It’s more the finishing up of my Masters that is playing on my mind. It’s like the end of an era! 😀

If you are a student studying in a university away from home, a quintessential part of your life are your hostel/dorm/apartment and in effect, your roommates. And especially if you’re studying in a different country, one could go so far as to say that your roommates are like your family away from home. I’ve always wanted to live in a hostel environment. When I was applying for undergrad programs, I was ready to even study in godforsaken parts of Maharashtra just so that I could get the opportunity to experience life away from home! Unfortunately, my mom didn’t think too highly of my ideas and that plan was tucked away in some corner of my mind. So when I decided to apply to the US for grad studies, one of the major motivating factors for me was living with roommates! Of course, those were the days I wore those beautiful rose-tinted glasses.. It was going to be awesome, I thought- living with strangers, adjusting to their whims and fancies, disputes, making up- all the works. Little did I know that the reality would be far faaarrr from beautiful.. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some great roomies- but now, eighteen months and eight roommates later, I know that living with strangers is not all hunky dory.

The most astonishing part of all this is the things it teaches you about yourself. I always thought I was a very accommodating person; and I definitely am. But I am a lot more aware of my threshold levels now. Like for example, on some days, even a badly-made bed with a crumpled bedsheet is enough for my fuse to blow! The funniest thing happened last week- I have this mattress in the living room of my apartment- my friend’s actually- which is like my seat. Yes, I am very Sheldon about my seat- I hate it if anyone sits there when I want to, and I can get pretty cranky about it. And unbelievable as it may sound, I actually sulked for an hour last week because my roommate moved my laptop and MATLAB book to another chair and sat on my seat- MY seat! I was just thinking about it a few days ago and couldn’t help but laugh at myself! Why did I have to make such a big deal about it !! But see, that’s me apparently! 😛

Anyway don’t start getting wrong ideas about me- I also realized in the course of this “adventure”, that I am a very nice person too (like I didn’t know that already.. Lol). I can be very considerate, and put aside my differences with you, if I know you’re going through a hard time. And I will also go for a walk in the snow with you and talk about the weather- if I know that’s what is going to make you feel better. :P:P

Well, this is probably going to be the last set of roommates I am going to live with, but I only hope and pray that if I have more roomies in store for me- let them please be nice and fun-loving! I’ve outlived my bad-roomie karma! 🙂 And well, I should be thankful to all the ones I have lived with- all the self-awareness wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for you! And one other thing- living with guys is easier than living with girls- a fact I always knew, but now firmly believe !! 🙂