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    After sealing the last box, I heaved it on top of the summit of cardboard boxes and took one last look at the place before it was time for me to leave. It was a small dorm room. No bigger than an average-sized bedroom, with peeling white rough textured walls that feels more like rocky concrete than anything else. And as if these walls couldn’t be more helpful, it did a stupendous job with allowing any sound transcend through it– the vivid images concocted from my imagination whenever I heard the infamous “oohs” and “ahhs” reappeared in my head and made me cringe. Yet, despite that, the walls were surprisingly competent with keeping my Peanuts poster up.

    The dark blue carpet flooring wasn’t any better, with the questionable accumulation of stains that emitted a rather sour and dank odour, that still remains a mystery to this day. The room also couldn’t be more of a blessing, by giving me an unwarranted free pet spider that remained in the dark and untouched top corner of the room. We came to a mutual agreement where I wouldn’t bother it and it wouldn’t bother me– it was a good system. Right next to the spider’s home was the window that had the same soundproof sensitivity as the walls, I began to recall the many mornings of never needing an alarm because I would be ever so politely awakened by the nearby construction (at least it got me up and early for classes). Similarly, the metal copper stained blinds was an extra free add-on to my “alarm” as it generously let in strong streaks of sunlight into the room– even when it wasn’t wanted or needed.

    My gaze then went towards the naked mattress on the creaky wooden bed frame next to the window, that used to be covered with my flower-printed duvet and multiple Emoji pillows. In other words, my fort that I would retreat into whenever I wanted to hide from my responsibilities and life in general. The countless times that I’ve wrapped myself into a blanket burrito instead of studying is equivalent to the length of a blackhole.

    Across the bed was the wooden desk that I was bound to during late night study sessions that lasted until the sun rose. It used to be decorated with my awkward touristy family photos during our trip to Hawaii, a large white ceramic cup on the side that would constantly be refilled with instant coffee, my collection of DC comic books and trashy tabloid magazines for the times when I wanted to switch my brain off, and of course, the never-ending mountain of textbooks that I was so tempted to burn. Additionally, my desk was not complete if it didn’t include a sprinkle of different pens, pencils, sticky notes, and other miscellaneous stationery. But my desk was now the cleanest it has ever been before.

    Adjacent to the desk was my faithful and reliable black mini fridge that kept my leftovers and snacks, but more importantly, my precious bottles of vodka and wine cool during times of need (which were many). In addition, the grey round plastic trash can that has seen far too many barfs, hurls, and upchucks of amalgams of food and alcohol, complemented the fridge perfectly.

    In retrospect, despite all the faults and flaws, this room was filled with warm memories of my friends and I having drunk sleepovers, studying until our heads hurt, trying to make Eggos with a microwave at 2 in the morning, or even those treasured moments of vulnerability that brought us closer together. It was a small dorm room, but it was the best home away from home that I could ask for. With that, I let out a small smile and shut the door on my freshman year.
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