A week ago, I moved from the campus-town house that I’ve lived in for this past year to a new one. Now, let me tell you: my old house was a real treat. It was hot, muggy and bug-infested in the summer, yet it couldn’t hold heat in the winter. The basement flooded and the ceiling leaked. I think the house was slowly collapsing in on itself, as many of the floors were on a noticeable incline – consequently, furniture with wheels was a no-go, as any such item would slowly but surely slide across whatever room it was in.
It was the quintessential, charmingly shitty college house, and my roommates spent hours (lovingly) complaining about its state of erosion – statements like “What’s this weird mold doing in the bathroom?” or “Apparently the kitchen sink was leaking into the cabinet below, and now that cabinet smells weird and won’t open?!” were common.
My new place is great: ridiculously cozy, warm, well maintained and filled with some of my kindest and closest friends. I’m really excited to spend my final year as an undergraduate here.
Strangely, however, I’ve already found myself fondly recalling my crappy old house, which is something that I didn’t expect to ever happen – but especially not in one week’s short time. Moving seems to resurface all of the pleasant memories and sugarcoat the unpleasant ones. Although this phenomenon probably just demonstrates the inaccuracy of memory, I’m grateful for it. It’s refreshing to begin another school year, move into a different house or enter any transitional period with positive thoughts of those that came before it – of which, all complaints aside, there were many.
Quite a few things will be different for me, and many UIUC students, this Fall semester: new houses and apartments, roommates and classes have been introduced, but this time they come along with bigger changes involving a new University president and chancellor.
I’d like to address all of these changes the way I’ve addressed my change in address – instead of “out with the old, in with the new,” I hope to change my mindset to “appreciation and respect for both the old and new.” Because at the end of any day, I could always stand to care about things more and complain about them less.