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Coming Back to Carleton (If You Never Left)

How does summer resident Fátima prepare for the return to the academic year?

How does summer resident Fátima prepare for the return to the academic year?

Baby, we’re back! After a fun, inspiring, and busy summer, we are back on campus and starting to get into the full swing of a Carleton trimester. It has been entertaining to watch everyone move back in, but as someone who never technically left, I thought I’d share my experience (and perhaps some tips for) preparing for the transition from a summer resident to a regular student. 

Goodbye Summer Housing…

Each summer, the Office of Residential Life sets up accommodations for the many Carleton students who stay on campus to do research, participate in a local internship, or are involved with the college or Northfield in some other way. This year, they housed us all in Musser Hall, which conveniently was the same dorm I lived in during the previous academic year!

A young man does some work on his bed, while the sunset light hits him just right.
Lightning was beautiful in our Musser room during the sunset.

I had a great time sharing a room with my friend Quan, cooking with my friends Liwei and Gisele, and getting to know all the other summer residents. A couple of weeks before the start of the term, however, we needed to get ready to move into our fall assignments. It was sad to say bye to the community we had created over the summer, but after a herculean effort of coordination and cooperation, we all managed to pack our things, vacate Musser, and move into our new residences in less than 24 hours!

…Hello Burton Triple!

After leaving Musser, my friend, fellow summer resident (and new roommate!) Dylan and I moved into our Burton triple that we will be sharing with our mutual friend (and my old roommate), Caitlin.

Getting to move in before most Carls come back has its perks, and Dylan and I enjoyed all of them. We had no problem finding carts and trolleys to transport our stuff, didn’t have to compete for the elevators, and had several days to set up our new room just how we wanted it. After much deliberation and several hours of moving furniture around, we found an arrangement that suits our needs! Burton 213 started to feel like home.

A young woman stands on the desk trying to set up a flag on the ceiling.
My roommate Caitlin did her fair share of interior design when she moved into the room.

Adjusting and Readjusting

Over the next few weeks, Dylan and I got to learn how to live together and share a space. Without the pressure to rush back into the academic term, we had the flexibility to keep arranging and rearranging our room to fit our ever-changing desires. We made it cozy with a carpet, paintings, and posters, a display of our collections of stuffed animals, my Guatemalan flag, and several other items that have meaning for us.

This time also allowed us to mentally shift from our summer to our school mindsets. The slow but constant trickle of other Carls (from athletes and peer leaders to first-year and returning students) aided this transition by giving us the space to get used to the movement and energy that characterize Carleton during the academic year.

One Final Break

Colorful people and smiley faces pose at the farm.
A huge shout-out to Julia and Sarah for hosting us at their farm!

The weekend before the first day of classes, my friend Quan and I escaped campus to spend a night at a farm in Mankato, Minnesota. We were kindly invited and hosted by Julia, who, although now retired, lived at and managed the Dacie Moses House for over 30 years! This small getaway was the perfect way to bid our summer break goodbye and get ready to tackle the new year head-on!

As a junior, Fátima (she/her) is excited to continue her pursuit of a SOAN and (hopefully!) Educational Studies, Latin American Studies, and Cross-cultural Studies minors. Outside class, she enjoys her leadership roles with Fellowship in Christ and the Undergraduate Journal for Humanistic Studies. In her free time, Fátima likes spending time with her mentee, poorly playing the piano, watching cartoons, and desperately missing her dog, Cosmo. Meet the other bloggers!