When I graduated high school and went to Rutgers, about a third of my classmates came with me. Naturally, the most talked about subjects for the last three months of high school were the who, what when, where and why of Rutgers life. When I mentioned that I was to stay in an all girl’s dorm, my eyes shining with pride, I was met with the same disquieting response. “I’d never do that. It must be so catty.”
I’ve been living in a DRC dorm for a week and a half now, and I absolutely love it. I’ve sat around a crowded table at bingo night and thrown my arms up in the air in absolute joy when the entire table wins prizes.. I’ve rocked out at a glow stick party in our backyard, surrounded by fireflies. When I dine at Neilson alone, I feel comfortable enough to plop down next to any girl sporting an “I heart Douglass” t-shirt and start a conversation.
Why is it that society assumes boys get along with each other and girls don’t? That we’re competing for male attention? We all chose to live here, with other young women, and there’s no male attention for which to compete. I’ve received the most eye-opening advice of my life standing outside of my Women’s Issues class, talking about deeply personal problems with girls I had known for the grand total of an hour.
I chose to become a woman of Douglass because I need sisterhood in my life. Being a part of the Douglass program is like being on one giant sports team where everyone gets as much playing time as they want. We’re teammates – we practice together, reach for the stars, and celebrate each of our own little victories.
My floor has a wholesome group chat, where we report items left in the bathroom and answer requests for bobby pins. I’m living in a world where girls have each others’ backs. I have male friends, of course. I’ve met them at club meetings, sat next to them in the dining hall, and hung out with them in my dorm. But at the end of the day, I’m coming back to girls’ night.