And you thought your dorm was crappy?

By Erin Nollen
October 2, 2008

When it’s time for kids to leave for college, they’re usually excited to live on their own-no rules, no parents, no curfew. The only thing they aren’t excited for is the small dorm rooms.

A lot of us here in the states think we have it bad. We usually complain about not having enough room and that it’s dirty, but kids across the world in Beijing, China have it a lot worse.

Here at Cabrini , most students have a total of two people per room, in some cases rooms can have up to three or four people. If you’re living in the Cabrini Apartment Complex, you can have up to six. Six people sounds like a lot but they are apartments with three bedrooms and two baths.

In Beijing, they have the same size dorm rooms that we have here in the states except for one big difference: they have a total of six people in one room.

We complain when there’s only two to a room and they have six people. Imagine sharing a room in Xavier with six people.

Here at Cabrini Woodcrest doesn’t have any air conditioning but every other building does. In Beijing, they have no air conditioning whatsoever. Here, we can leave our windows open if it is hot, but if you live in the dorms in Beijing, if you open the windows you better have mosquito nets everywhere to catch the bugs that will come in the window.

It’s safe to say we have things pretty easy here when you find out what other people have to go through for little things such as water. Here, we have bottles of water in our room. In Beijing, if you want a cup of hot water you have to walk a quarter of a mile to get it.

Most college students are never too concerned with doing laundry; some kids even drop their laundry off at home for their moms to do it. I know when I lived in Xavier I always complained that there weren’t enough washers and dryers and half the time they didn’t even work. When I found out that kids in Beijing have to wash all their laundry by hand and then hang it to dry, I felt spoiled.

There are a lot of things we take for granted here and I think showering is one of them. Here, we can jump in the shower whenever we want. We could shower eight times a day if we wanted to.

It happens to be very different in Beijing. You can’t just jump in the shower when you feel like it. You have to set a time to use the bathroom and when you use it you are using it with everyone else. There is no privacy and you have to walk a quarter of a mile to the bath house. Here, you can stand in the shower as long as you want. There you get charged on how long you take to shower.

Personally, I would have a hard time following those rules or sharing one room with six girls. I think we all have it pretty good here at Cabrini and we should think next time we complain about the laundry machines or showering.

Erin Nollen

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