Sheridan is a junior magazines and English double major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Air hums through the vent beside me as my eyes attempt to imprint the textbook’s information on my brain. How I wish I could take a walk outside, go meet up with friends or just relax for a second. But my list of homework assignments glares me back into obedience.
I read each sentence carefully until a laugh breaks my concentration. It is muffled slightly by the wall that separates my room from the hallway.
Crescendoing voices fill my ears with tales and exploits that I never wanted to hear. The shrillness of the voices bursts through the plaster, wood and wiring of the wall right into my ear canal. Try as I may to drown it out, ignore it, put in earphones and listen to instrumental music, the volume of the voices prevails. And so, defeated, I wait for the voices to fade away.
Especially during my years in the residence halls, I really liked to do homework in my room. I had everything I needed nearby and everything was set up just the way I wanted it. The problem was that I felt like one of the only people doing homework in the entire residence hall. A girl would be outside the door, talking into her cell phone loudly about the scandals of the previous night. Five friends would squeal and pound on the connecting wall between our rooms. Everywhere there was noise when I needed just a few hours of quiet.
Everyone has weeks when they are able to make time for fun, and everyone has weeks when they are on the edge of quitting college due to stress. I think it’s only fair that we, as students, respect each other no matter where we are. If you’re outside of someone’s dorm room talking on the phone with a friend, talk a little quieter and realize that someone inside that room may be having a stressful week.
If you’re walking around at a late hour and you know the walls of your apartment are thin, take steps a little lighter; you never know who has to wake up early for work the next day. Being mindful of how loud we are can be a first step toward increasing courtesy on campus.
And no, I’m not saying you have to whisper all the time or that talking on the phone in the hallway is not allowed. I’m definitely not saying I’ve never done these types of things. All I am trying to suggest and promote is a consideration for other people, even the ones you may not see. I have met very nice people on campus, and I don’t think little extra steps like controlling our noise levels will be difficult for them. I think if we all try a little bit harder to imagine ourselves in others’ shoes, there will be fewer frustrated students sitting on the other side of that wall.