The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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New York Knicks forward Precious Achiuwa (5) shoots over Philadelphia 76ers guard Kelly Oubre Jr., rear, in red, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New York on Sunday, March 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter K. Afriyie)
Column | Former Villanova fanatic watches “Nova Knicks” take down Sixers in NBA Playoffs
By Aidan Kasner, Sports Editor • May 23, 2024
Opinion | Do not arrest peaceful protesters
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • May 23, 2024

Join our newsletter

Get Pitt and Oakland news in your inbox, three times a week.

New York Knicks forward Precious Achiuwa (5) shoots over Philadelphia 76ers guard Kelly Oubre Jr., rear, in red, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New York on Sunday, March 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter K. Afriyie)
Column | Former Villanova fanatic watches “Nova Knicks” take down Sixers in NBA Playoffs
By Aidan Kasner, Sports Editor • May 23, 2024
Opinion | Do not arrest peaceful protesters
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • May 23, 2024

Notes From an Average Girl | Home

Notes from an Average Girl is a biweekly, relatable blog about navigating college life.
Notes+From+an+Average+Girl+%7C+Home
Annika Esseku | Senior Staff Illustrator

I live in a three-bedroom apartment in South Oakland with two of my best friends. It’s on the top floor of the building. My bedroom is in the corner, with a slanting wall above my bed reflecting the slanted roof. While it’s fairly large, my singular window is tucked into a nook, which is only visible when you’re standing in my doorway. 

From the perspective of my bed, my room feels a bit like a dungeon. The overhead light usually remains turned off, leaving my bedside lamp’s dull yellow bulb to light the room. Not only does my ceiling fan constantly rotate, but the cheap Amazon fan I bought adds a hum to the room as it also blows air around, even in the winter. So, not only is my room dark and cave-like, but it’s also freezing cold. 

To most people, this may seem kind of crazy. I could turn off my fans and turn on my extra light, yet there’s something about the isolating feeling of my room that gives it a homey feel. The ability to make my room dark at any hour of the day allows me to rot in bed and the freezing temperature makes curling up in my heavy comforter extra cozy. 

But it’s not all about sleeping. The lack of windows allows me to wander around my room without worrying that the people across the street are watching through their windows — a serenity that my roommates are not granted. The yellow bulb of my lamp lights my room with a warm hue, which matches the colors of my decorations, prompting my friends to claim my room is “so me” whenever they entered it for the first time. 

When my lease first began in May of last year, I visited Pittsburgh during summer break to move some things in and build my furniture. The whole apartment was bare. We had a couch from Facebook Marketplace and that’s about it. The white walls were freshly painted, and everything was spotless. When I think back to this visit, I remember how I initially felt looking around my apartment. It was all new and exciting. I couldn’t wait to live off campus with my best friends and have my own room, a kitchen and a private bathroom. I dreamed of watching movies on my couch and inviting my friends to sleep over. 

Now, my walls are anything but bare. Above our couch is a plethora of gold frames featuring pictures of our memories. A caricature drawn at a Pitt art fair decorates our kitchen. A map of Pittsburgh sits above our kitchen table, and a Five Below disco ball hangs from the ceiling. 

But my favorite parts of our apartment are the things that aren’t as cute. Above our kitchen cabinets is our hat collection. From fedoras to Batman masks, we’ve spent the entire year collecting them from friends’ houses and parties. Leaning against the wall next to our TV are two toy horse heads on sticks that we bought from Goodwill. Thumbtacked to the wall on the other side of the TV are rainbow leis collected from a Hawaiian-themed party. 

Slowly, my apartment went from bare and somewhat mundane to fun and memory-filled. The buzz of moving in and living alone has fled, but it has been replaced with feelings of comfort and safety. My apartment is no longer an ideal place in my imagination — it is my home.

About the Contributor
Madeline Milchman, Senior Staff Writer