Talk of the Town - Higher learning April 08 2004

Gettin’ schooled on the dorm life of an Emory University senior

Back off “Girls Gone Wild!”
Emory University student Sarah Langner dresses to impress. Like most students, she enjoys exercise, beer, Domino’s Pizza, and school — usually. This cute and energetic girl lives in a florescent-lit 12-by-15-foot room inside a dormitory with 150 other college students. Her room is lovingly adorned with homemade decorations such as a beach sarong, gift cards, pictures and a California bumper sticker. She has carved out a home in this white-walled cookie-cutter environment and deals with day-to-day dorm life.

Langner: I started the year living with a sophomore transfer roommate but I am a senior. I think she felt a little intimidated.

Creative Loafing: You intimidated your ex-roommate? How?

Well, it actually came down to religious differences. She was a Seventh-Day Adventist. While I’m not necessarily atheist, I don’t practice my religious beliefs on a daily basis. She didn’t really like living with someone who wasn’t very religious. Like she didn’t like people who drank beer. And I like to drink beer! And she liked to listen to religious music — constantly.

Have you always lived in dorm rooms?

I decided to move back into the dorms this year because I didn’t like driving to school. It felt wasteful to drive in traffic and pay for parking in a garage and all that hassle when I didn’t have to. And I only lived five miles away!

It was pretty difficult for me to find any parking around here as well.

Yeah, it sucks here. There are maybe 25 spots that 50 people compete over daily.

You’ve got a kitchenette in there. Do you cook a lot?

Not really. The kitchen’s a little rickety. The burner is slanted about 45 degrees. So when you are cooking, everything in your pan ends up on one side, which can be awkward sometimes. [Laughs.]

What about the “Walk of Shame” that college students talk about? What is it exactly?

The Walk of Shame is when you walk back the next morning after a presumably drunk evening. You are wearing the clothes that you were wearing the night before, which is blatantly obvious in broad daylight if you are showing your stomach or your cleavage is hanging out. So the Walk of Shame is when you walk home and see everyone you know on the way home and they know that you did not sleep in your own bed the night before — and that you obviously slept in someone else’s bed. After freshman year, you kind of learn that that Walk of Shame is ... shameful, and try to avoid it at all costs!

Have you ever experienced one?

I haven’t done the Walk of Shame. But I have done the Shuttle of Shame! I have gotten on the [University] shuttle in my clothes from the night before.

Do you have any advice for college students on dorm life?

Do what’s going to make you happy — and best for academics, that’s why we’re here, of course!