Life in an 8m² Room

Written by  May 20, 2014

Melissa finds the perfect study abroad roommate.

I told them they were crazy. “I’ll never share a room with anyone, I need my own space.” Something I thought I had successfully avoided in my undergrad, the effortless room option found me signing a contract and picking up my keys for my new dorm room. Enter my good friend Léa.

We weren’t supposed to live together. After finding ourselves living in the same house in Denmark and spending all of our time with each other, we decided it would be best to live in separate rooms, to meet new people and expand our horizons a little.  But, somehow the universes aligned and decided we should live together once again.

And it’s awesome.

The entire semester working out to just over one month’s rent in Denmark and the simplicity of only having to cross the street to get to class made the decision to change my opinion on a shared room much easier. Who am I to say that I can’t share a small space with anyone if I’ve never tried?

And yet somehow, everything works. We have the same class schedule, so worrying about waking each other up is not an issue. When my early rising and late night habits do get in the way (I guess I don’t sleep?), I tiptoe around trying not to make noise.

Sitting here, I like the space we’ve created for ourselves. I don’t have to call her to go into the city and explore, I just have to turn around and say, “Let’s go.” We thought we would get tired of each other, fearing spending too much time together would cause conflict.  If anything, we are together more than ever.

Sometimes, we chat into the late evening full of inspiration and ideas, dreading having to wake up for class in the morning. We’ve accepted the fact that we love the same things in life, making for a pretty great roommate experience.

I don’t have to wonder to myself if she will be home and whether I can finally have the place to myself because I already know what her plans are. We do have separate lives and don’t spend every waking moment together; we make sure we work on separate projects for our courses and try to pursue separate activities. (It’s not our fault we enjoy the same art exhibits, concerts and ice cream!)

While the paper-thin walls make the Spanish fiestas upstairs a burden to listen to on nights before exams, and the laundry machines for the building are always malfunctioning, I’m actually going to miss this place when I leave.

As for Léa, I know we will end up living together next semester in Spain, whether we want to or not. Soon, we will be having our own fiestas.

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Melissa Gagne

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Melissa Gagne has always had a knack for finding adventure. After completing her undergrad in Toronto, Melissa ventured off to South Korea for a year to teach English. She is now on her way to Europe to begin her Masters in Tourism through the Erasmus Programme, which will take her to Denmark, Slovenia and Spain.


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