umc-movement

Once upon a Common Room

No two days in MUWCI are the same, and I can say it without a doubt. I personally am a bit of a homebody, so I tend to stay within the confines of Wada 3 unless absolutely necessary, and I don’t think my social life is too disrupted. After all, every time I pass by the common room, I come across new people and with them, new experiences.

Earlier in the term, our second years would make us manifest things each check-in. We would gather around a three-wick candle in the common room every night at 9:15 and manifest things like “Wada 3 will have a clean laundry room,” “Wada 3 will segregate waste”, and the ever-loved “Wada 3 is juicy.” At first, it was hilarious, we couldn’t take it seriously, but it became something to look forward to, to close my eyes and breathe at the end of the day. In MUWCI, time moves faster, you blink, and it’s night. It was a beautiful moment to slow down and bond with my co-years.

With Regional Weeks come cookouts. There’s nothing more beautiful than coming together to make food with people from their cultures far, far away, and there’s nothing that brings people together like food. Some of the best meals I’ve had in my MUWCI journey were made in our very own common rooms – whether it was learning about the fight for Peruvian independence while making causas, a delicious tangy layered potato salad or snacking on charamari from Nepal while finding cultural common ground.

Wada 3 is kind of known for its sense of community, no doubt for our team spirit during MUWCIlympics. Leading up to the games, we practised, sure, but for us, it was never about winning. Wada 3 has a losing streak that we carry with pride. For us, coming fourth out of five Wadas is an absolute triumph. So when we came together in the courtyard for the first event, there were no speeches about victory, just a simple “Do your best, try new things and have fun” as we painted dots and threes and patterns in blue on each other and came up with chants and dances.

It’s easier to be open and vulnerable in front of the people you live with, and it’s just the truth. Wada 3 had seen me when I was homesick and burned out, and Wada 3 had seen me get elected as their representative of the College Assembly and ate cake with me on my birthday. Similarly, it’s much less intimidating to perform in front of the Wada, and that was the rationale which led to holding a Wada concert. Seeing such talent come up and sharing it with the community was beautiful. People danced, sang, performed spoken word and lipsynced, but the most important thing was they did it together.

No two days in MUWCI are the same, and there’s no better way to prove that than coming to the Wada’s common room and seeing people do what they usually do- study, cook or just hang out. These strange new faces become familiar, and while slow, you take time to turn friends into family. You come here missing home, and within a few months, it becomes home.

Author – Ananya Andrade (Class of ’24)

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