Houston House feels less like a residence hall and more like a home to me.
I’ll never forget the first day in my first semester, and the first house meeting we had together. The fluttering butterflies that were residing in my stomach throughout the day were still present at the meeting with my house-mates, making the experience initially feel like a nightmare. But by noticing the shifty looks and nervous gestures of everyone else, I could tell I wasn’t alone.
As the meeting continued, our bodies visibly began to relax into the couches and melt from the kind, welcoming words of our Community Advisor. It was at this meeting when it hit me; I knew this college was special, but the residence halls were going to be a completely different experience from what I might find in the dorms of any other college I could have attended.
Cleaning parties in Houston House quickly became exactly that: parties! When we had the chance, we would play music while putting our love into the house by cleaning. Nothing makes me more confident about our love for the house than seeing how our common room is rearranged after every other cleaning party.
Never before have I felt so welcomed to a community, especially to a place where I live. Because all of the new students were experiencing similar emotions, my housemates and I agreed to weekly meetings, just to talk. We could talk about our week, about what’s going on with our family, how we were feeling, or just tell a funny story or show a funny video.
Our Community Advisor this semester has been extremely supportive and welcoming, creating a calm and safe place for us to be ourselves.
I’ll also never forget the beautiful decorations and cut-out shapes along the walls and doors, dedicated to a house-mates’ birthday.
When winter came to Vermont, the snow made staying inside more enjoyable. I constantly heard laughter across the hall from my room as my housemates visited each other. As the winter comes to a close and spring feeds our veins, our support for each other has stayed strong. Houston House had truly become my home.