Hubster works in residence life and we live on campus. Our living arrangement often produces a lot of intrigue, so I thought I’d address some of the most common questions here. Enjoy.
The Myths and Realities
We live in a “dorm” room. First, let me correct you with the proper term. If you’ve ever worked in residence life, the word “dorm” probably makes you cringe. It’s not a “dorm,” it’s a residence hall. Since Hubster is a professional staff member, we actually live in an apartment within a residence hall. Most professional staff apartments were former student rooms that have been renovated into an apartment (unless it’s a newer building and the apartment was in the building plans). We currently reside in a building that consists of 4-bedroom student apartments. Our apartment was renovated into a 3-bedroom apartment with a small laundry room.
Hubster is a state employee; therefore, he works short hours and earns a fat paycheck. When I hear this myth, I want to punch someone in the throat. People who dedicate their lives to residence life/student affairs do not do so for the money – or the hours. To give you an example, Hubster has night meetings every weeknight this semester. He comes home from either his normal office hours or an evening meeting, only to leave a couple hours later for another meeting. At our current institution, he has duty one night/week and about 4 weekends/semester. During those nights and weekends, he must stay on campus and may receive a call on the duty phone at any hour. There are also certain times of the year when I expect that I won’t even see him; he’s only home to sleep. These include the entire month of August while student staff undergoes fall training, and hiring season in the spring when they recruit and interview student and professional staff.
Hubster gets a spring break and summer break like students do. Um, no. The university doesn’t close during these times, and neither do the residence halls. He may not have his days filled with meetings with his student staff, but he is quite busy catching up on other projects. Summer brings summer work – special projects, summer conference housing, and training.
You have an unlimited number of babysitters! Let me tell you, after overhearing some of the crazy crap that I have, there are a select few students that I would trust to care for my children.
Sometimes I overhear ridiculous, hilarious things. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Guy talking on phone: “YOU SLEPT WITH MY SISTER THIS WEEKEND?!”
- Ladies chatting in hallway: “If I ever got pregnant, I would just die.” This elicited an eye roll from me from within my apartment, and it made me wonder if she knew there are places to get free contraceptives on campus.
- Guys in hallway: “Dude, bitches can’t get enough of me!”
- Female resident to her friend: “My life is so hard!” Oh sweet, naive young woman…life after college has loads more responsibility.
Students drive on the sidewalks. I have never experienced this at any other campus, but apparently it’s acceptable to just drive right up to the buildings here via the sidewalks. Are you kidding me?! First, how lazy are you? Second, I hate that I can’t let my toddler run just ahead of me for fear of some jackwagon zipping up the PEDESTRIAN SIDEWALK in his vehicle.
We live below a bunch of stompers. These people walk so heavily, I almost can’t even believe it. I don’t understand how anyone can make so much noise by walking. Sometimes our windows rattle. It’s obnoxious.
Our neighbors cook beef every. single. day. I really think I should notify them that there are other meats in existence. This has been particularly problematic because beef is one of my pregnancy aversions. Sometimes they even cook beef for breakfast. *gag*
Sometimes people are really unfriendly. Usually toddlers and babies make people smile, but most of the time I encounter students who think that parenthood must be contagious or something. You wouldn’t believe the amount of dirty looks I got when I was pregnant (both times, different campuses). Students could really stand to be friendlier. My nice, “Hi,” is typically met with a scowl or a quick aversion of the eyes. So weird.
We park in the resident parking lot. Read: a bit of a walk from our building. Before we had kids, this wasn’t a big deal. Now it’s rather problematic. I need to have a free hand to hold C’s when we cross the street to get to our building, which drastically limits how many groceries I can carry back to our building. Pretty soon, I’ll have to hold C’s hand and carry Baby Deuce…so I think my solo-with-the-kids shopping trips will be very limited. Yes, I can take the stroller; but since our building doesn’t have wheelchair-accessible automatic entrances, that option is also difficult.
While I’m happy that Hubster enjoys what he does and our living situation does have its benefits, this is why there are days when I find myself browsing the real estate app on my iPhone and daydreaming of moving OUT.