What do you get when you throw nine very different girls who barely know each other into a house to live together for an entire year? Well, you can either get chaos and destruction or a wonderful year full of laughter, silliness, friendship, and growth. I was blessed with receiving the latter of the two when venturing into the unknown of living in community housing.
After spending my freshman year living in the dorms I was so ready to get out of there. The dorm scene just really wasn’t my kind of place. I could not wait to have a house with a kitchen and a room to myself and porch to sit on and enjoy the amazing sunsets that bless Bellingham. But really, I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I signed on to live in a janky little house called The Shaq with girls that I had only met a few times. Luckily it was so much better than I ever could have imagined.
Now don’t get me wrong living in a house of nine girls had it’s challenging moments too. You see, I am a people pleaser. Always have been, probably always will be. This means that I often sit back and let other people make decisions and just go with the flow. In some aspects being a laid back person is great. But, I quickly learned that I was not going to have a good year if I just sat back and watched our system form. I discovered what it meant to voice my opinion in a respectful way. And guess what. Even if people didn’t always agree with me, I wasn’t hated to putting an idea forth. Imagine that!
Living with a gaggle of silly girls has shown me the importance of being myself and loving who that is. From being encouraged in every endeavor I tackle to dance parties to just watching how my housemates live their lives I have been able to continue growing in my own self-confidence.
There is nothing better than coming home to a dance party in the kitchen. Or getting a giant hug when I’ve had a bad day. Or impromptu trips to IHOP for 56 cent pancakes (only to find out the deal ended two hours before we got there).
I can’t even imagine what my year would have been like without these girls in my life. And I am even more excited to see what the next year of living in The Shaq will bring.