Column: Room Draw can build character
Published: Thursday, April 26, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 26, 2012 16:04
In particularly difficult situations, I find it beneficial to remind myself that whatever I’m going through — no matter how awful or unfair — will build character. Suddenly everything sounds better. “I’m going off to take a test that I forgot was today,” turns into, “I’m going off to take a test that will build character.”
For the past two years, I’ve gone into Room Draw with that mentality. There is no, “I’m going into Room Draw with tiny freshman points and am probably going to end up homeless.” There is only: “I’m going into Room Draw to build character.” Last year, after I suited up for the knock-down, drag-out, scream- for-your-mama fight, I entered the St. Charles Room terrified. Sure, my soon-to-be roommate was a junior (she’d responded to my desperate “roommate needed” post on Facebook just two weeks before), but there was also the issue of inexperience. Were there tricks I didn’t know? Was Room Draw like Black Friday, in which a little physical fighting was totally acceptable? I felt like I was entering a barbarian pit that day. I built so much character.
This year, another vicious battle raged, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s true that the most horrific events happen in the imagination, as I watched it unfold over Facebook through status updates. Those graduating in May or living off-campus gloated as anxiety and anger permeated my Facebook news feed from those living on-campus. However, I could not rest. I had my own battle to fight — the fight for a precious and rare Carrollton apartment. If I won, I’d be set for the rest of next year. If I lost, I’d be forced to abandon my suitemates, walking out on the long and lonely road alone once more. Our group’s points were in good shape, but it came down to a test of chance — a test of character.
As the moments ticked by, I watched the rooms disappear one by one. The clock counted down to when my room draw would start. Five minutes, two apartments. Thirty seconds, one apartment. Then, suddenly, the apartments were gone — or so I thought. Somehow, by clicking on rooms to find their availability, I’d accidentally gotten myself a room. I went downstairs to get a celebratory drink from CC’s (and to wake myself up).
That’s when I saw the lobby full of people who, unlike me, did not have secret Internet room gods randomly giving them rooms. These were angry people smote by fate. I realized how lucky I was and that yet another cycle of Room Draw had taken its toll.
Looking back now, I’m still not sure what happened that fateful night two weeks ago. Some say people’s character grew three sizes that day. Others said that the odds were simply in my favor. I’m just glad it’s over.
Kylee McIntyre can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org