Dear Crabby, Are College Dorms Safe?

Dear Crabby,

I am concerned about the safety and cleanliness of my daughter’s college dorm. Is it normal for a parent to be worried about this?

Sincerely, Kathy Klean

Dear Mrs. Klean,

The simple answer is “yes!” Those college dorms are a mess; they are not safe or clean for anyone! That being said, millions of kids live in them and survive every year, so I guess it is alright. I remember helping my friend, Fred, take his daughter to college for her first year. We had just arrived at the campus and walked into the dorm where she was to live. Fred looked up at the large window over the stairway. The view was beautiful – it looked over a manicured courtyard between the dorms. However, the window had a huge white stain running down the middle. This greatly bothered Fred. After moving all of his daughter’s things into her room, he studied the window’s stain some more, only to find that it was actually dried ice cream on the outside of the window. His daughter could care less and said she was already late for her orientation. Fred decided he was going to take it upon himself to climb up there and clean that silly window. Meanwhile, I decided it would be humorous to watch, so I found a shady spot and sat down. After piling several flimsy items from the lounge on top of each other, Fred was able to jump to the window’s ledge and climb up. He stretched and scrubbed as much as he could, but was about a foot short of the top. After he got the window 90% clean, he decided to get back down. Realizing that the pile of coffee tables and rickety chairs that he used to get up would not hold him coming down, he decided he needed to jump. With a six foot wide cement sidewalk below him, he got back and ran off the ledge to try to land on a little dirt garden off to the side. He hit the ground like a ton of bricks; I even saw his nose plop down between his toes for a second! He got up very slowly and backed up several steps to see how it looked. I just laughed and told him it would look fine for about another hour or until those kids came out of the dining hall with more ice cream. With that, we jumped in our car and headed back to Normalsville. Trust me, there were other memories of these dorms as well; I remember smells that I thought only existed beneath New York City, socks that looked like cardboard cutouts of some sort, and one gal pulling a dead cat out of her closet to show me! She was apparently a nursing student and this cat was an anatomy project that she was to keep in her dorm for some homework assignment. It’s a good thing my daughter never went in to nursing! I guess you just never know what is living, or not living, in dorms these days. I would say that fact together with the fact that these kids seem to come out alive means the dorms are tolerable. Wish your daughter good luck, pray for her protection, and find a new hobby to keep your mind off it! 

Sincerely, Dear Crabby 

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