Communal Living

One of the pillars of the Williams-Mystic experience is the aspect of communal living. The 17 of us live split between 4 different houses. With our housemates, we plans meals, grocery shop, cook, eat, and clean together as a house. Many of us have no experience living in a house with roommates like this, while many others of us have lived in similar communal situations before at their home campuses. The differences in our backgrounds can lead to tension, but have also lead to us being able to learn about one another and grow closer as a result.

I live in my house with 4 other people. I have one roommate, and the other three are split between one double and one single. Our house is old and historic and fairly small. We call it quaint. While our living quarters may be more cramped than most of us are used to, we have been living successfully as a cohesive unit for the last three months. Of course, we often do run into problems. The floors get dirty, the dishes pile up in the kitchen sink. When we have a lot on our plates, we tend to skimp out on planning meals and eating together as a family. However, we find ways to recover and make it work. We all do our part to make the house function, and we sit around the table to enjoy a warm meal together.

It’s hard to believe that as I’m writing this, we only have three weeks left together. A housemate and I are currently sitting in an academic building on a Friday night doing work together. The fact that we all live together and take the same classes adds an aspect of bonding that I have not found at Colby. Here in Mystic, I can come home and vent about an assignment or a particularly boring class, and I know that I have four people right there who can truly relate. The fact that we are all in this together adds to our cohesion as a house and as a class. That feeling of comradery is what has made the communal living experience so special, and is what I will miss the most. Five strangers were thrown into an old house together and have become family.

These next three weeks will be tough. We have finals looming in the distance, and assignments are piling up. Will we get sloppy and not plan a few meals ahead of time? Definitely. Will the dishes pile up in the sink after a rushed breakfast? Of course they will. But ultimately, I know that we’ll be doing it side by side and enjoying living with each other while we can, with all the ups and downs the experience has to offer. These people have become my family, and I know that I will cherish my time with them for years to come.