This is the one thing that you cannot not experience if you choose to live under the same roof with 30 other girls from strikingly different backgrounds. No matter how much you despise it, willingly or unwillingly, you have to show and share everything: your living space, your privacy, the things that happen in your life, your belongings, you habits and personality, everything. Well, almost everything. There are still some things that are not for public consumption if you know what I mean haha.
Anyway, the point is: living in a dorm is like baring yourself open for everyone to see. Sure, you can pretend at first (in Bahasa we often call it jaim), but trust me, you can’t keep your facade up for too long. Give it some time and you’ll see everyone’s true colors. Give it some moments of happiness and hardships together and slowly, you’ll begin to understand how people and things around you work. Give it some contemplative hours and you’ll be able to read between the lines. Living together with who were once strangers teaches you to be more sensible. Sensitive, even. But whether or not it’s a good thing, you decide.
The other fact that you need to be aware of is that not everybody fits you and the faster you accept that, the better. Some of my new dormmates are so easy to talk to, so easy to be with, so easy to befriend in many ways. But some others are just not as easy. And this in turn could be a possible source of conflict in the future. Oh well, it’s happening in my case already. The simplest examples: our cleaning schedule and the maintaining of personal area (hehe, peace to Muffin :3). It’s undeniable that conflict is, more often than not, destructive. But it is also true that there is no healthy relationship without conflict. Hence one of the most important lessons I got from living in dorms for years is conflict management. And sharing becomes one of the keys. By sharing, you keep a balance between your rights and your obligations. You’re required to put aside your ego when it comes to public means.
You have a lot to gain from sharing, too. It makes hardships a lot more bearable and happiness a lot more meaningful. It also makes you a better person. Not everyone has a big heart. Not everyone has the ability to share what he/she consider as his/hers alone. That’s why in terms of ukhuwah, sharing definitely strengthens the bond. Sharing is the trigger and the proof of love, and in this context, it’s different from the kind of love for our parents because it’s the love that we were practically born with. This is the kind of love that we grow and fight for together, since we literally turn from strangers to family, one that is not by blood but by faith.
Sharing is a successful process when you can feel what others feel. Once, two of my friends missed their plane from Hong Kong to Russia and panic literally gripped me far away in Depok. My other friend had a super serious problem with her former employer and I was surprised of how it also pained me. Same goes for the good times, I can’t help feeling so proud and happy whenever I hear news of my friends winning competitions, joining conferences, or getting something they’ve long been fighting for. Though I can’t deny that I felt the jealousy, too, haha.
Dear sisters, this is our third month and I already felt and got this much thanks to you. Let’s not stop sharing, okay? ‘Til the time comes that we can share the same status as the residents of Jannah. I heart ya all <3