How Did I Ever – I

Looking at where I am now, there are several things that I have reflected on personally, and one of those reflections is “How did I ever…” I will have a few posts reflecting on different questions that begin with that question. Today’s topic will be about my domestic life.

The question that I would like to pose: How did I ever manage to live comfortably in Engelhart when I was in grad school?

The floor plan for where I lived is shown on a Northwestern webpage. I lived in Bedroom 1, which gave me 20 more square feet than if I were in the Bedroom 2. Still, I slept (daily), ate (daily), worked (occasionally), and entertained (once), all in that 130-square foot room. (The bathroom and galley area must have only had about 100 additional square feet.)

But now, I am living in a true apartment building, rather than graduate housing. According to the landlord’s website, it comprises 720 square feet. So I have a HUGE increase in the amount of usable space (probably at least triple!), and still have a storage unit in the basement. That is more room than I really need right now, but it will be great for me as I plan to entertain sometimes while I am in Menomonie.

Although my stuff is a little sprawled out right now, and my office desk has already fallen into some disarray, I can “afford” to have a little mess while the place remains a bachelor (er, doctor) pad.

Despite the fact that I have lived full-time in this apartment for less than a month, I feel I am a little bit spoiled with the amount of space that I have. (See the pictures from a few posts ago.)

Sometimes, when in a pinch, people find ways to condense into the space they are given, and when they are given a lot more space, use it well. I know I did that well at Northwestern, since before that, I was never pressed for space in my permanent dwellings. (Perhaps a little bit when I was a student at UNL and living in the dorms, but I don’t know how much that really counts.)

Some answers that I will give as to why I managed to work out my situation in Engelhart:

  • I haven’t really been much of an entertainer–I’m an inexperienced party planner.
  • The convenience of the place being furnished, proximity to campus, Hillel, etc., and relatively reasonable rent far outweighed the “claustro” aspect of the unit.
  • Although I have a lot of items, most of it was paper or books, which may be a large number of items, but they don’t take up that much space.
  • It really made me appreciate what I had when I lived in Lincoln.
  • It was the first place that I did an appreciable amount of cooking, and really taught me resource and space management. (Though I didn’t really prepare any fancy meals… play along here!)

So I realize that many of my readers will have gone through the college experience, and/or lived in smaller dwelling spaces than what they were used to as a child. I pass the post onto any of my readers–feel free to comment and start a conversation, or use this post as a springboard!


Rosh Hashanah: Next right!

Memorial Stadium: 41 days.

Joint Mathematical Meetings: 115 days.

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