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Dinner: still the best way to bring a “family” together


On any given day, the extent of the conversations I have with my three roommates is something like, “Oh, you still live here? Cool, me too… Well, I’ve got to go. See you later!”

Aside from my work at The Chanticleer, I have another part-time job that keeps me in Anniston 25 hours each week, a full load of classes, the BCM Creative Movements team, and responsibilities with the SGA Student Activities Council. That’s not including homework, miscellaneous errands, and spending time with friends.

Bottom line, I basically use my apartment as a place to store my belongings, take a shower, and sleep (a little).

Even though I share a roof with three other girls, two of whom are Communications students like me, the four of us live separate lives. We learn things about one another in little snippets of conversations, and we have never once all sat down and eaten dinner together.

Then, last Sunday happened.

There were some things that needed to be discussed: reorganization of a chore system, paying power overages, the amount of people we could have over at night while others in the house are trying to sleep or study, etc. Sunday night seemed to be the best time that we could all get together and talk.

So for the first time in the two months that we had been living together, the four of us sat in the living room at the same time. One of my roommates has two best friends who spend more time at the apartment than I do, so they were part of our conversation as well.

The six of us ended up spending close to two hours just sitting and talking. Everyone expressed their concerns, pet peeves, and suggestions for how to distribute responsibility around the house. We learned a lot about each other in the process, and even shared stories about classes, internships, and which teachers to take (or not to take) for various subjects.

We decided to schedule a “family” dinner, too, where we each invite a couple of our closest friends and we all cook a big meal together.

People tend to get stuck in routines, I guess. Even though there’s really no such thing as a “routine” day for me, I usually talk to the same people at school or make lunch plans with the same friends. But since last Sunday night, I’ve decided that I want to be more than an acquaintance to the people that I’m around. I want to be a true friend. I want to be the person that people know will sit and listen to them when they need to share their heart, who will give them a ride to the doctor’s office when they’re sick or to pick up their car when they get new tires or brakes put on it.

Over the past week, I have had the opportunity to spend time with two individuals and two groups that are not in my usual circle of friends. (This includes being shut in a room with three Student Senators, three Associate Justices, and no cell phones for three hours on Thursday night.)

When you actually take the time to get to know a person, it’s cool to see how much you have in common. And sometimes the quiet ones are the funniest ones to have a conversation with!

So my goal from here on out is to smile a little bit more, speak up in class, and be a better listener.

That, and maybe schedule a few more “family” dinners with my roommates.

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