It’s Saturday evening “in”. Popcorn popping in the microwave, a kettle whistling, hot chocolate poured into mugs and marshmallows plopped on top melting into sugary white swirls. We decide on the biggest laptop and plug the external DVD drive into it along with whatever studio Ghibli film borrowed from the WashU library this week. There’s a short series of knocks on the door before we press PLAY, with each knock enters a friend and possibly a new snack in hand. Soon enough we are curled up on the couches and chairs in the living room ready to press play. Perhaps later on, we will head out for dinner or a party, but for now it’s time to chill and relax with roommates + friends.
This has become our relaxing ritual for kicking off Saturday night at our University Drive apartment. Off-campus enough to feel a ritualistic “going home” at the end of each day but close enough to still have a view of campus Nicknames U-drive, this string of apartments are located right next to the overpass and conveniently located between campus and the loop. Each has four three-bedroom apartments inside that include a kitchen, dining room, living room, bathroom. Laundry in the basement, and plenty of parking outside. The rooms are spacious and bright with lots of windows inviting in natural sunlight. Rooms are furnished like a standard WashU dorm: each bedroom has a bed (with Tempurpedic mattress), closet, drawers, desk, and bookshelf. The living area has chairs and a couch and the dining area has a table and chairs.
There’s enough space to be apart and together. Three of us live in this apartment. We can share meals in the dining area and then move to our favorite respective study spots. We can spontaneously grab lunch together on the Loop or go grocery shopping if we feel like we haven’t had something sweet to bake in the apartment for too long. Things change week by week as semesters unfold, but no matter what on Saturday nights we get together to watch a movie, never setting foot through the door without feeling at home.