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Student Life

It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

An easy way to make stressful times easier for all is to be a good neighbor.

Laura Magerkurth

February 19, 2013

It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
I am five weeks into this semester, and let me tell you, this has been one of those weeks that I feel like I am just barely clinging to my sanity. It has been a truly insane few days, what with all the tests, papers and after-class commitments to attend to and, while it’s usually easy for me to relish the pleasant chaos, sometimes it feels a little overwhelming. It’s okay and normal to feel this way, though, and soon the deluge of assignments will slow to a more manageable current. Everybody has these “hell weeks,” and everyone’s often come all at the same time. One of the easiest ways to make them easier for everyone is by being a good neighbor.

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I live in the dorms in a community-style residence hall (for those unfamiliar with the ins and outs of campus living, going community means that there is one bathroom with a few showers and a few toilet stalls shared by 12-20 people of the same gender who all live in that hallway).
Over the past several months, I've picked up several helpful tips to keep you and your neighbors happy, even during the most stressful times.

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Don’t call somebody’s name when you’re knocking on their door. I promise that if they’re home and you’re knocking, they know you’re there. Keep your voice down in the bathroom. Like I said, the walls are made out of cardboard, and if your room is right across the hall from or, God forbid, next door to the bathroom, you can hear conversations and music that are taking place over the sound of the shower. Don’t run up and down the hallway. No matter what, when you’re running on these floors, it sounds like you’re stomping.

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Pay attention to quiet hours. They’re important. If somebody’s clothes are in the washer or dryer and have been there for a while, take them out nicely and put them on a clean surface. If you’re the one whose clothing will be done before you can make it back, leave a laundry hamper in the room. The best-case scenario would be setting an alarm for when your laundry is supposed to be done and going to get it as soon as possible. You really don’t want anyone else touching your clothes and nobody else wants to touch yours. Clean out the microwave if your food leaves debris. It’s easy to do and it saves the next person a lot of trouble, not to mention grossness! Use common courtesy and common sense. Keep in mind the fact that you are living with dozens of other individuals and everyone will have a better semester!

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