All Alone in A Crowded Dorm: The Lamenting of a Non-Traditional Mid-20s Undergrad Student Living on Campus

     It’s 12:29 am, inside of my dormitory on the campus of Winston-Salem State University where I attend school as well occupy the position of a Resident Adviser. Lights all around me are on, the security guard sits at the front desk talking with a female student who is up late studying for an exam (this is during the Summer Sessions). On my side of the building where the males stay there is a student up late watching ESPN, while all the Nursing students sans 1 guy who isn’t turn up in one room since they all passed an exam they have today. Where am I?

     Sitting inside the Classroom kitchen eating Tilapia I just made at an hour where most human beings wouldn’t be up let alone cooking.

     What’s more is this feeling overcoming me that I’ve had quite often since moving back to Winston-Salem, NC after 6 years to complete my Bachelor’s Degree. The Feeling of Loneliness.

     Maybe I’m entirely to well aware of who I am, what I am surrounded by those who are still operating under their first chance in life to achieve a degree and their dreams while I’m currently on who knows what chance the Higher Power has given me. Sure, I’m young (relatively speaking) but it’s not the feeling of wanting to be that age again that’s making me lonely. I’m even a part of an organization that is just for people over the age of 25 whom are undergrad students. I’m even lonely surrounded with those people because I’m the youngest person in that organization…

by 7 years.

     Being in undergrad at the age of 26 feels like a bizarre version of Malcolm in the middle. I’m old enough to not have anything in common with the traditional aged college students, yet I’m too young to have anything in common with the majority of non-traditional college aged students, outside of attending classes. My choice of conversations, social outings and gatherings, mindset, and life plans doesn’t really match anyone around me, and it feeds upon my secondary temperament of melancholy where I seep into a small hole and don’t talk to anyone around me, moving around as if I’m not noticed… mostly because I am unnoticed unless someone needs something out of me.

     Living on campus makes things even harder because the majority of people here at night are traditional aged, and I am not tied down with the responsibilities of many outside bills or people whom I am accountable for. During those times where often you want to just relax and do things with people, you find it difficult. The issues ad problems of someone whom is 18-22 come across as quite trivial when you hit 26. And that moment where you’re sitting around and listening to people discuss going out to a party, only to remember that you’re too old for that scene and miss being in a place like DC where I could easily find people who were in my age group to have fun and interact with void of an awkward pretense or the feeling of not belonging. It would be nice, just once, to hold a conversation with someone who actually knows what I’m going through; who actually got tired of the typical turn-up and finds the enjoyment of being social at a local bar and meeting and conversing with new people. It may seem so small, until its something you don’t have the option to do.

     I guess the bright side is I’m graduating in May so I won’t deal with this much longer. But even now as I look towards the future, planning on grad school, life decisions, and most importantly where will I be living this time next year, I find myself in this funk, again. I miss being around my friends. I miss living a lifestyle where I’m comfortable. I miss feeling like I’m somewhere I belong. Sure, I know that I’m here due to my own faults and choices, I accept my responsibility in subjecting myself to this lifestyle, but that doesn’t make things any easier. Some days it hits me hard (like right now) and other days it doesn’t. I just gotta keep pushing.

(Pause in time because I’m always working even when I’m not working)

     So as I sit in this dorm, after completing room checks, answering questions of residents, shooing them away for wanting some of the food I just prepared, constantly engaging different people every five minutes who want to talk to me even with everything else simultaneously going on, I’m by myself and its trying and its sucks,

Because nothing sucks more than feeling all alone… no matter how many people are around.

(2:38 am; 7/22/2015)


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