Jumbo Steps: A sweet, suite life

2/7/16 – Medford/Somerville, MA – CAPTION poses for a headshot on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. (Evan Sayles / The Tufts Daily)

It looks like the proverbial phrase summing up my freshman housing situation, “home is where the WiFi (doesn’t) automatically connect,” is going to be replaced next fall by something even more frightening than tufts-secure’s wrath: “home is where the…strangers live.”

Housing season is upon us, ladies and germs. It’s a wild ride, indeed. Since ORLL administered the housing lottery numbers to first-years, I’ve dropped my name into about a half-dozen roommate and suitemate groups. I’ve contemplated (a little more than I care to admit) the extent to which living in a single in a six-person suite versus a triple in Lewis versus a ten-person suite versus a special interest house would be most socially, fraternally and academically conducive to not only me but also to all my roommates. I’ve mentally mapped out the differential distances to and from cafeterias, certain academic buildings, the gym and (shocker) Tisch. I’ve coordinated meetups with potential roommates. I’ve kept tabs on the progress of my groups of interest. I’ve even created and sent out a self-made “About Me” document to a few people.

In other words, I’ve done my work. I’ve planned ahead and done my research so as to better control where and with whom I live next year, which is understandable. But then I made a complete 180-degree turn, which, at first, doesn’t seem understandable in the slightest. However, this twist-in-my-housing-story might bring the best outcome I would have never foreseen.

In the past week, I responded to a Facebook post that asked if anyone was interested in being the tenth of ten Jumbros in a Wren suite for the 2016-2017 academic year. The post’s owner was a half-acquaintance, half-friend. Besides him, I knew two of the eight other guys. That’s a total of three out of nine guys I know. The rest were a mere collection of Facebook profile pictures. This was significant — I knew every single person in every other group on the table. Except this group.

But a dash of “if I like three out of the nine, I’d probably like the rest,” a bit of “branch out and meet new people,” a smudge of “be vulnerable to new, daunting prospects” and a sprinkle of “from what I’ve heard from and about them all, they’re a good lot” — all found me, my methodical and heedful self, taking a risk. Risks are something which I never take.

Do hasty risks necessarily confer bad ones? In this case, not at all. In fact, my daredevil decision was probably the best thing to arise from this whole process. A friend I confided in while still contemplating my options had made an excellent point: sometimes, you can get a feel for someone, ultimately guiding your affinity toward them, as quickly as a few minutes upon meeting each other. After contacting those suitemates whom I barely know and lunching with all but one a few days back, I’m glad to report there were nothing but good vibes all around.