Until I came to Grinnell, I had lived with my parents in Kansas City. Living in a dorm in the middle of rural Iowa has been quite a change for me. College was the first time I had to share a room and the first time I lived among my peers for any extended period. I was a bit nervous the day I moved in, knowing my living space would be drastically different from what I was used to. My floor would be my home for the next year. And what a home it has become!
Welcome to Lazier Fourth, inhabited by my best friends on campus. My floor, though technically coed and including students from every year, somehow ended up with a large percentage of first-year girls. There are six of us: Annie, Grace, Zoë, Maria-Elena, Briel, and me, Kat. The six of us bonded almost immediately at New Student Orientation and we soon began to spend mealtimes and weekends with each other. We go to movies, Harris parties, and out to eat in town together. We have sleepovers in each other’s rooms, and we went stargazing one warm fall night. And we provide support for each other when things get a little rocky in our lives, from drama with significant others to bombing an exam.
We all want to major in different things; in terms of extracurriculars, we run the gamut — theatre performances, dance groups, the Feminist Action Coalition, the Grinnell College Quidditch Club, Vox, and the softball team. As for our potential majors, they range from anthropology to theatre to the sciences to English. Variety is the spice of life, and here on Lazier Fourth, we’re as spicy as chili peppers!
Of course, other people live on our floor as well. Caroline, a senior, is a biology major now applying to graduate schools. Lizzy and Liza are best friends on the tennis team who also room together. Jarrett, a first-year boy, lives across the hall from me and volunteers at the Stonewall Resource Center. His roommate, Sam, is a second-year on the debate team. And Ryan, who lives down the hall, is an international student from Indonesia. Together we have study breaks as a floor, ranging from baking cakes to painting henna designs on our hands.
And what floor at Grinnell would be complete without an SA (student adviser)? On Lazier Fourth, our SA is Mairéad. She has taken the time to get to know us, not just as fellow students at Grinnell, but also as friends. She often visits with us in the evenings, swapping stories and offering advice. Mairéad also arranges study breaks —fun ones (decorating T-shirts), and educational ones (learning about the benefits of adequate sleep). In short, our SA is a vital part of the Lazier Fourth family.
While I know that no place can replace my childhood home in Kansas City, I’ve come to think of my floor as my second home, with a whole slew of amazing siblings living here with me. Having such a floor family here at Grinnell has made leaving my own family easier, and I know that in the years to come, I will look back on the friendships I shared with my floormates quite fondly.
Kat Atcheson '12 is undeclared and from Outland Park, Kansas.