Freshman year, I resided (quite proudly) in Beau 314, the (objectively speaking, better) half of WashU’s only all-freshman residential college. My roommates and I were tucked away on the top floor in a triple we are convinced should have been a double; it was so cramped that, even amidst the nervous breakdowns of Move-in Day 2014, we laughed at the suggestion of debunking beds. It was, quite simply, a joke.
All right, let’s fast forward two months. The initial panic of living inside a matchbox has subsided, the temperature has dropped to tolerable levels (around the same time our recalcitrant AC has begun to function properly), and my roommates and I have become fast friends. And, in spite of more than a few bumps in the road along the way, it has been fantastic.
On birthdays, we congregate like Christmas carolers to sing someone a very happy birthday. And never mind the narrow, dimly lit hallways, we squeeze everybody into the photos we take afterward. Wait until the last minute to study for three exams? Never fear, you can always find a partner in procrastination in the common room at any hour of the day. Oh, and to announce the dinnertime rush, we sprint down the hallway chirping “BD?” recruiting a group of ten or more in the process.
We organize movie nights, floor trips to the Loop, even a holiday party just before finals week. From trips to the Galleria and the ice-skating rink in Forest Park to attending each other’s club events and performances, it’s a de jour co-ed fraternity. And because the relationships we have with one another are genuine, it doesn’t break down as we get more involved on campus. On the contrary, we branch out, dragging Beau 1 into this mish-mosh group we have come to call our own.
Just before year’s end, we agree we need to have a final floor gathering before we truly split up. Pooling together everyone’s leftover meal points, we buy bulk quantities of toasted ravioli, french fries, and buffalo wings. We get chips and salsa and cakes from Paws n’ Go. Someone bakes brownies. Another person breaks out the rice cooker. Even our WUSA gets involved, spending remaining floor funds on John Donuts galore. We distribute floor superlatives and fond memories. One of my friends shotguns a Grape Fanta. We look at each other when it’s over, unprepared to actually part ways.
Five months later, it’s sophomore year, and we are spread out all over campus. But we do what we can to stay in touch. The GroupMe remains quite active, and we host reunion-type parties as much as we can. Nobody is a stranger to anyone else, and that’s the way we want it to stay.
Beaumont was my first close community here at WashU (and yes, by the end of the year, I called it “home”). Though one of the less glamorous buildings on campus (perhaps the best image I can give you is a brick blob with legs), it has offered me more than any other. Within the walls of this riot-proof, concrete maze of a residence hall, my floor—students from all over the country and several spots around the world—grew into a family of 44. Cheesy? Yup. True? Unequivocal yup.