Throughout my time at Drexel, I’ve had a range of experiences with living spaces. I’ve lived on the eighth floor of Millennium, across from Buckley Field in Caneris, in UCross, and on the side of an apartment building facing a parking lot and SEPTA train tracks. Now I spend copious amounts of time doing homework or relaxing in a friend’s apartment in Evo, and she’s up on the eighteenth floor. It occurred to me, this past week, that my morning and evening moods–sometimes my little rituals, too–have been subtly influenced by these habitats.
Millennium is still my favorite college residence. The building isn’t exactly luxurious, with its infamous concrete decorative scheme, metal chairs, and small room dimensions. However, I enjoyed sitting in the communal lounge until early hours of the morning or eating breakfast there before class. My imagination felt alive. I could overlook Powelton Village and its characteristic old homes on one side of the building, or campus and the Art Museum skyline on the other. And the Sky View lounge on the top floor afforded a pretty stunning view that made me feel like a speck floating in a sea of light–light from the stars, the city streets, the people driving by in their cars. In those moments of peaceful day-dreaming, I could let my gaze wander and think of the possibilities that would reveal themselves, little by little. One day, I would have an awesome job and live in a cozy brick house that enticed others to visit their urbanite friend.
I’m waxing poetic, I know, but all these images made my metaphor tangible. What I’m trying to say is that Millennium gave me the urge to think well of the future, simply because I felt lucky to live there. I must also admit that I liked living in Caneris (although more for its layout than for the privilege of hearing and seeing soccer players practicing at seemingly random times). After camping out in pre-renovated UCross for months–where I felt suffocated by the lack of light in my bedroom, the drab gray carpeting, and the dirty windows that weren’t fun to open–I embraced Caneris’ bright lounges and suites. Here I learned the pleasures of sitting on a comfortable carpet to work for hours on end, and how to observe the way shifts in natural light, as well as seasonal changes, can make any odd view seem peaceful and pretty. I became calmer and mentally sharper than I had been in some time.
My impression of Evo is the last one worthy of note, although it’s a bit hard to capture. The place is basically a chic version of Millennium, and yet, it’s more friendly somehow. There were a few drizzily days last week, and at one point I woke up to find my view obstructed by white fog. I was content to remain on the couch, imagining some of my favorite fantasy characters soaring up to see me in my personal Ivory Tower.