Living in the dorms is like living in a very small neighborhood. You see the same faces and know who lives in what room in which building. You all know that you live together, but no one actually seems to know one another.
Most of the time, your year will continue this way, but sometimes, a small shift of events changes everything.
Take, for example, the tornado that passed through Weber County recently. All of University Village experienced a power outage due to the tornado. We had no power or internet for five hours — we all know that this really means no Netflix. And yes, it was awful.
On the plus side, a shift in our daily norm brought us all together. It brought many of us outside of our rooms, talking to people we didn’t even know lived in the same building. All of us opened our doors for the first time since moving, allowing everyone to officially meet and take a peek into each other’s lives.
A little freaked out, mostly curious, we all began to walk out into the common areas of the building or to the front doors to check out the damage. But despite all the fallen trees, it was amazing to see that a storm could actually do more good than harm.
We got to meet people from down the hall and other floors. Not surprisingly, we got along with a lot of them. Soon enough, groups formed in the common areas, and they all started sharing their stories and began a game of hangman on the white boards.
I even saw one room later in the evening, sitting around a table lamp, creating a makeshift campfire in their living room with people they had just met. The campfire allowed new friendships to form.
Room tours suddenly became a trend. Since we all lived in the same model of rooms, we could all relate to some struggles regarding the use of space.
For example, the kitchen probably has the least amount of accessible storage space. After agreeing it can be used better, my roommate decided to show these two girls who lived a floor below us what we had done to better our space. The girls loved our room, and it gave them a few ideas for their own room.
Instead of ruining our evening, this storm brought people together and sparked new friendships.
Maybe we need a small power outage now and then to remind us to return to the simplest of introductions and open our doors to new friends.