July 28, 2012

An Ode to Southside...Thanks for the Memories

Today I got the privilege of walking through my old dorm.  Back in 2005 it was just a place where I slept, studied, enjoyed meals with my friends, and shared a bathroom with WAY too many girls.  Today as I walked the halls of Atkin 3, I remembered it as a place where I chased my dreams, laughed with friends, and built memories that will last the rest of my life.

I recently learned that Atkin-Colby/Hamilton-Whitten (also known as South Campus) is going to be closed and eventually torn down. The housing department hosted an open house today at South Campus for alumni to tour the buildings, see their old rooms, and even eat in the dining hall.  I was devastated that this place I called home for a year would no longer be giving students the types of memories I had there.  So when my friend Eric told me about the open house, I knew I had to go.  A lot of people probably consider dorm life as a type of prison and they wish themselves out into an apartment.  I admit I probably felt similarly back then.  Honestly though, a lot of your best college memories are built romping the halls of the dorms.

I lived in Hewett Hall (an all female dorm) as a freshman in 2004.  I built a lot of memories there too.  Living there allowed me to meet people that eventually led me to my church home!  But I still remember how excited I was when I was able to move into Atkin.  A lot of my friends from my campus ministry lived in South Campus, including one of my best friends.  In my opinion it was the best place to live on campus because it was close to so much and still offered quiet and single-sex floors.

There were so many people who came to say good-bye to their old stomping grounds.  I even met a lady who lived in Atkin-Colby the first year it opened in 1962.  There was an older couple of which the wife lived in South campus when it was all female.  I overheard her talk about how men had to be escorted if they were visiting.  Another couple whole graduated in 1970.  The wife talked about candle ceremonies to celebrate girls that started going steady, got engaged, or pinned.  I'm not sure I even know what it really meant to get pinned, but I thought it was adorable.  My friend Eric lived in Hamilton Hall for four and half years while at ISU.  Needless to say, he has a strong connection to this place and a ton of college memories built here.  We had lunch in the dining center and remembered how nice it was to be able to just go downstairs and grab food without having to cook it.

My favorite memory had to be when Emilie, her roommate Sarah, and I discovered a stack of cafeteria trays in the stairwell one cold winter afternoon.  We thought "Hm, no one appears to be using these.  What would be the logical thing to do with them?  Go sledding of course!  We decided if they were still there later that day that we would do just that.

 Emilie attempting to be sneaky.

 Again I remind you... it was FREEZING!!!

Human tobogan!!!

So Atkin hall, I'll say it again.  Thanks for the memories.  Though your doors may close and your walls may come down... you will always be in the hearts of your alum!!

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