This Is Where I End My Day
It’s 2009. I’m 10 years old, and my baby sister is two. My family is on vacation — that year, my Mom took us to Orlando. My favorite older cousin is with us, my aunts and uncles in tow. Our time there is a blur, and the end of each day leaves me exhausted and ready for bed — I even miss home a tiny bit, despite the fun I’m having. And yet, at the end of each day of this vacation, I find myself returning to a room filled with people I love. My mother is on the phone with one of her friends; my sister and baby cousin are playing tag around the room, giggling and laughing; my Nana is chastising them from her bed, hiding laughs of her own; my older cousin is gesturing me over to the couch to watch a movie with him. The day has been long, and even though I am tired, a smile crosses my face. This is home, even for a short time. This is where I end my day.
At Kenyon, I may be a ways away from my friends and family back home, and I may be tackling a new year with new people and a new dorm — but finding that feeling I had when I was 10 years old has been easy. This year, my home is in the Archon division, located on the third floor of Hanna Hall, with two other roommates. The Archon Society is a co-ed Greek organization focused on community service, and at Kenyon, Greek organizations have division housing — collections of dorm rooms set aside for members of Greek life, created to foster a sense of community.
My Hanna triple is a ball of boyish energy, constantly going and going, and it extends to our hall. My roommates and I share the floor with one other pair of roommates, and our two dorm rooms are adjacent to the third floor Hanna Lounge (which I like to refer to as my living room, but it’s open to all). Our little spot in Hanna is cozy and lively — at any given moment there is music, or singing, or laughter, or a comfortable silence. There are days when we play Mario Kart and share pizza slices; there are days when we lie in bed and debate music for hours.
I felt truly grounded and invested in my sophomore year here one night in early September — I had been up late studying for an upcoming exam in one of my classes, and I was bone-tired. I hadn’t spoken to anyone other than myself for some hours by then, and I was positive I would return to a dark room filled with my sleeping roommates. As I climbed up the stairs, I prepared myself to be quiet and unassuming — to my surprise, however, I was met with laughter. There in Hanna Lounge, in the wee hours of the morning, were my hallmates and roommates, studying together on the couches. They greeted me with warm hugs and childhood stories, and we stayed up for a little while longer recounting our day — decompressing. There was a moment where my roommates were telling an elaborate anecdote, and even though I was tired, a smile crossed my face. “This is home,” I thought, “even for a short time. This is where I end my day.”