After being apart for 6 months, my friends and I could not wait when Conn announced we’d return to school in the fall for our senior year. Soon enough the plans began to take shape, and even though the senior year we envisioned in our heads had changed, it worked out for the best.
Like many first-years, my friends and I pictured ourselves living as close as possible to each other in the residence halls until our senior year when we would finally get an apartment-style house on campus. This dream for our senior year shifted as COVID-19 became our reality. As norms like hugging and shaking hands changed, so did our housing plans. In an effort to reduce the density of housing on campus, the College gave students the option of applying to live off-campus in the local community. Before my friends and I knew it we were house hunting. After a stressful few weeks, we were relieved to finally secure the perfect apartment. My manager at Conn, who is from New London, put me in touch with a local realtor. We signed a lease shortly afterward on a house in Waterford, CT, the town next to Conn!
Waking up and making our way downstairs to enjoy coffee on our little porch is the best way to start the mornings together. We are renting the corner house of our neighborhood, with a beautiful view of the water and in chatting distance from our neighbor's porch. The neighborhood welcomed us with open arms, even reminding us to put out our trash on trash day (something that we don't do in the dorms).
Now that a few weeks have passed, we’ve gotten into our routines. We all have our morning rituals and reconvene during lunch and dinner. While studying abroad in Barcelona and living in an apartment, I learned to cook a few staple dishes that have gotten us through so far, which is helpful since we don’t have Harris, the campus dining hall, to lean on. Our new fall-favorite is turkey chili. My mom also keeps us inspired with new meal ideas every week.
We’ve been enjoying the last days of summer by frequenting the neighborhood beach and having meals around our picnic table on the porch. Even in a short month, living in this house is a completely different, but wonderful experience as a senior. As my roommates realized, it feels like real adulthood!