College is the beginning of a new chapter in everyone’s lives. It’s a time when we learn about ourselves and about who we want to become, and creating a home away from home is an important  aspect of that process is. Our new home has been given its shell within the Jinqiao and Pusan dorms, and it is our responsibility to fill that shell with materials and rules that will make it comfortable for everyone. 

    Godwin Kanyo, Class of 2026 from Ghana, recalls his home life and how it compares to living in Shanghai and the Jinqiao dorms. According to Kanyo, food plays a significant role his differentiating living habits between Ghana and Shanghai. He mentions, “Because I’m in China … I don’t really get access to some of the food from Ghana, which I miss so much.” Kanyo further describes the positive aspects of living in the Jinqiao dorms compared to his home country, such as having more access to resources and a better support system from the school. “I have more resources, more support systems … to better execute my ambitions. [Resources] I probably wouldn’t have been given if I were in Ghana.”

    Looking into the improvement of dorm life for everyone, Anza Batgerel, Class of 2026 from Mongolia, suggests a few solutions. Batgerel has found herself spending most of her time inthe Academic Building, stating that she “is just here [in the dorms] to sleep,” which may take away from the feeling that most consider home. To combat this issue, Batgerel suggests “adding more chairs and tables… so we can study more here … it’s so uncomfortable to eat here and study.” She also suggests ways to make the dorms homier and welcoming, such as painting the walls a different color and making the dorm environment more inclusive in regards to floormates and roommates getting to know one another. 

    Dorm life may never be home  for some, but we can strive to improve our new home as much as possible by incorporating of resources, opportunities, and relationships. We can all hope for a home away from home, with the possibility of creating subtle improvements.