Taking Time to Chill

Residents of Johnston D gather in the dorm's loungeWhen living in a dormitory, every moment brings a new experience. With every second that passes, there exists the opportunity to engage in impactful conversation, learn new topics, and participate in entertaining activities. It might sound like a cliche, but every second counts. 

The best moments are always the little ones. One of the most exciting and joyous occasions comes in the form of a phone call. It will be a cold winter day, with the snow that is so intricately tied to New England falling down outside. Cups of tea and hot chocolate will be present, and fuzzy socks and pajamas are already in use. The lounge, which is the very heart of a dormitory, will be inhabited with innumerable papers strewn around. Girls will be sitting in this environment and, despite the chaos in weather, will be working away. 

Then it comes. The phone rings. Due to the accumulation of snow outside, and the expected time to clean it, tomorrow becomes… a snow day. 

When this moment occurs, there is an eruption stronger than that of a volcano. Many girls will cheer, and they instantaneously inform their friends. Word spreads throughout the dorm rapidly, and soon everyone knows. 

Suddenly, there is a break from the routine which brings with it a unique sort of mindfulness. While there is still work to be done, there is now the opportunity to take a moment and relax. Now, students are able to spend time with friends, work on personal projects, and (best of all) sleep in. When this occurs, the girls are able to spend time with one another, together, in the dormitory. 

While these moments may be rare, this slight deviation from the routine is a relief. With them comes a strong sense of community, as we are able to appreciate the weather together. Some will be seeing snow for the very first time, and this is a whole new learning experience in and of itself! 

In these times, the vibrancy of the dorm becomes even more visible. Together, we can share stories, watch television, and have time to express ourselves. Perhaps this leads to a conversation about how to reach out to academic faculty, or taking time to focus on organizing a comprehensive to-do list. Perhaps it leads to activities and games that not only bond the dormitory together, but decrease stress. 

Regardless of the activity, these moments have a direct impact on each individual. These nights serve as a pause, wherein house faculty are able to offer interdisciplinary support. In these moments, everyone is able to take a breath. The night is restful, and everyone is able to look forward to the new challenges and adventures to come.  

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About Elaine Kearney

Elaine Kearney is the House Assistant in Johnston D. She joined the School in 2019.

2 Replies to “Taking Time to Chill”

  1. Thanks for sharing what it’s like in the dorms when “the call” comes , Elaine. Though the winter has been very mild this year, I’m hoping we’ll still have one glorious snow day to enjoy!

  2. Elaine,
    Thank you for sharing your perspective! I’m sure the girls in the dorm aren’t the only ones with fingers crossed for a snow day this year!!

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