When my RA walked in on me putting lotion on my legs while pantless, I considered that maybe, just maybe, I should close my door under certain circumstances, but I swear this kind of openness has become a crucial part of my frosh experience.
Here are a few things I have learned from this frosh dorm tradition:
1. Those who are sexiled are easily identifiable.
They timidly sit in the hallway with their laptops pretending to look busy as their door is closed with the lights off. With my door open, I hear sympathetic comments from other residents inviting the poor victim into their rooms, offering them an array of snacks to compensate for the lack of warmth from their own beds or a companion.
2. Sound travels.
Although laughing too loud with your door open at 3:17 a.m. is violation of quiet hours, the noise of laughter attracts people into your room in the mid-afternoon or at 2:26 a.m. Once other residents have entered though, it is admittedly quite difficult to get them to leave if you have snacks and endless wit. (I only have snacks, so luckily it’s more of a dine and dash situation).
3. People are not as quiet as they think they are.
You will hear a lot of dorm hallway gossip. For better or for worse our small quarters are like Gretchen Weiners’ hair: full of secrets.
4. The only time you need to close your door is during rollouts.
To avoid rollouts close your door and play dead or maybe put up a post it note that reads “I am hard at work at Farrillaga gym at 7 a.m.” From personal experience though, this flawed method does not bypass the detested practice. The overly caffeinated fists still bang on your door at the witching hour leaving you no choice but to face the world, likely with bad breath and a discomforting lack of undergarments.
5. People don’t like being alone.
If you leave your door open, people will come in and stay until 3:38 a.m. on a Monday or come in crying at 9:22 a.m. on a Saturday. Everyone wants to feel like they have a place to call home. This home is not the overly decorated yet still monotonous buildings we live in, but rather the people with whom you spend your massive amounts of free time (and by that I mean five minutes per day).
So I encourage you, if you have some time to spare for a conversation, please leave your door open. In a whirlwind of stress and expectations a simple conversation, a hug or a shared snack can be the brightest light.
And to my frosh dorm: thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that we have shared and will continue to share. Hopefully I won’t see any of you accidentally naked again. I am all for open doors, but please close them while in the nude (a note to myself as well).
Contact Alanna Flores at alanna13 ‘at’ stanford.edu.