Dorm living has been an adjustment for all three of the new freshmen. Lily-Mae missed her dogs more than her parents, Alex missed his siblings, and Ella missed the routine of her old life. She missed Cesar cooking breakfast, her sister grunting as she worked out in the morning, and the quiet ways her brother always understood her.
Campus was full of noise, everywhere she went there was people and loud gatherings. She tried studying in the coffee shop, but there was always someone performing comedy or music.
The library was too quiet, that every single movement or page turn would grate on her nerves. Her dormroom was too noisy from people in the halls. She’d escape to her room to collect herself, but it wasn’t helpful for studying.
Lily-Mae took it upon herself to use the greenhouse. It had been neglected for years, and she couldn’t imagine past students not utilizing the space. Being the daughter of a farmer and a frugal gardener this was criminal in her mind.
The dorms had a room with instruments and Ella decided to learn the drums. She’d done the vocals for Monroe’s band, but being the lead singer was more attention than she preferred.
The largest drawback of playing the drums was it allowed people to seek her out, compliment her, or even critique here despite their lack of musical knowledge. So she mostly played her guitar behind locked doors. She had some new lyrics she’d been playing around with mixed with a new rhythm. She wanted to tell Monroe about it, but he seemed a lifetime ago.
To find quiet, Ella began to stay up all hours, walking campus in the dead of night. Cesar would be worried if he knew, but there wasn’t a soul to be found.
Soon she was using the dorm’s hot tub in the dead of night, all her anxieties melting away with the jets spraying on her back.
She’d prepare a bowl of ramen before bed which landed around four in the morning, right before the cafeteria cook clocked in.
In classes, Lily-Mae and Ella were nearly twins as they worked through their gen. ed studies. Ella could have done without Alex and Lily-Mae’s PDA. She refused to sit by her boyfriend as he’d distract her, which was sensible, Ella just wished they’d table all their relationship stuff somewhere away from her eyes.
It seemed Lily-Mae picked up on everything super easily. She’d gotten the valedictorian over Ella, and she couldn’t help but think she’d have had it hands down if she hadn’t been cursed by the eternal presence of Lily-Mae McCarthy her entire life. At one point, they had figured out they were in the hospital at the exact same time when they were born, however Lily-Mae had been born a few days before Ella, always claiming the win.
Ella was determined to succeed though, and a bit of friendly competition fueled her instead of defeating her.
There was subtle new nudging of feeling pretty that took Ella by surprise. She decided to use a photobooth, something she had never done back in South Port. She figured no one would ever know, maybe she’d show her brother, Manny.
However, while she critiqued her self-portraits, Lily-Mae and Alex came waltzing over, intending to sully the perfectly decent photo booth. There seemed to be no shame among college students.
Their dorm had a couple upperclass students, but they mostly ignored the freshmen. Ella recognized Milo, but she didn’t expect him to recognize her. He was flirting with the barista while she sought sustenance from the vending machine. Everyone knew his girlfriend Max had broken up with him, like she imagined everyone knew her Mom was dead. It seemed those secret bits were always the first to be exploited.
Ella was surprised when Milo came by, and actually recognized her though he didn’t know her name. They had attended high school at the same time, but Ella hadn’t ever been on any radars.
The Barista seemed annoyed by Milo talking to her which was a pleasant surprise.
Milo awkwardly asked about how she liked EU, and the dorm, even told a sorta lame joke. He looked uncomfortable.
Secretly, Ella enjoyed this.
Back at the dorm, she never saw much of Milo. He would regularly sneak of to hike or jog, always active. He’d take weekend trips to the shore to surf, and Ella didn’t know how he had such levels of energy. When he was around, he was usually playing poker with whoever had money to lose, which was definitely not Ella.
Simon wasn’t rude, he was terribly occupied with his own issues, which Ella diagnosed as issues. She found him scrubbing the shower on several different occassions, the dorm had an actual cleaning crew. One of the times, the cleaning man had just cleaned when Simon went over it a second time.
Him and Lily-Mae bonded over their small town, Millwood roots which made Ella roll her eyes. Even Alex was from Millwood, only Milo had city routes, if one could count a private island as part of the city, which Ella was pretty sure you couldn’t.
If there had been a rock and roll sort of girl, that would have been perfect. As it was, Lily-Mae was too much sunshine, and the boys were too preoccupied to even notice her existence. It was only her too, because Alex fit right in having a whole crowd.
Ella knew her brother would tell her no one could eat with her if she kept such late hours, but clearly that wasn’t entirely true seeing it was past noon and both men were in pajamas.
There seemed to be an energetic quality required for dorm-living. Ella was positive she’d never been excitable or energetic in all her life.
She would have breakfast with Lily-Mae sometimes, and one time Simon came in complaining about their cook. Even Ella had to admit he had a body odor about him. But he was mostly talking to Lily-Mae, so it didn’t exactly count as an interaction.
Simon was also back with his girlfriend Cassia. Ella had heard they’d broken it off, and he’d gone after Milo’s sister’s best friend. It was all rumor, but Ella found there was usually a string of truth in them.
Whoever the other woman had been, she seemed forgotten as Cassia and Simon were pretty hot together. He would leave for spells to do his student teaching, and she’d basically move into his room when he returned.
One afternoon Milo came down in his pajamas as Ella ate her lunch, and he actually sat by her. She asked if he ever went to class, which Milo dismissed. She slightly chided him that he ought to apply himself, and he seemed surprised to be chided by a nobody freshman.
Ella felt a bit surprised herself for the scolding, and just smiled sheepishly afterward. He perturbed her, wasting his parent’s money. She’d worked so hard to be there, and he was throwing it all away. She’d never understand people like him.
Her words must have made some sort of impact though as Milo started doing homework, even managed to get his term paper written. Ella didn’t want to take the credit, it didn’t seem possible it was because of her, but maybe?
Regardless, she was positive he was on the path to academic failure if he hadn’t gotten his head out of his own bum.
Notes: I love the photo of Lily-Mae and Alex making out, Ella’s reaction is wholly her own. Gosh I love that girl. I also liked her photo-booth portraits.
I really enjoyed the dynamics of Ella and Milo, they surprised me. I know Starr will agree me with me. 😉 They have pretty low actual chemistry in game though.
The game crashed at one point after I’d put both girls on BC, I forgot I hadn’t saved before the crash, and Lily-Mae got pregnant with TWINS! I didn’t save as she should have been on her BC. That would have been crazypants though.
Milo would have been on academic failure, he started rolling academic wants TWO HOURS before his final exam. It was seriously by the skin of his teeth, after the semester ended, he rolled more academic wants. Is this guy gonna pull himself up in the nick of time? I’m curious now for sure!
Milo with his fortune wants, he basically wants to refurbish the entire dorm with the most expensive crazy stuff ever. For instance he wanted a rec item over $5500+ which is a bowling alley at the cheapest! All the counters and appliances were too low class for him too. Besides this, he’s totally preoccupied with swimming, jogging, hiking, and seriously being active.
Simon – 4.0
Milo – 3.0
Ella – 4.0
Lily-Mae – 4.0
Alex – 3.5
This dorm notoriously gives me 4.0 students, I can only imagine the terrible shape Milo would have been in if he’d been placed in the party dorm.
I got inspired to renovate Linden Dormitory, I posted the tour on my tumblr. This dorm was used for Brooklyn, Oliver, Meg, Paige, Peter, and Elise. So a few years since it’s been in my rotation, I am happy to use it for my next group now. This dorm is shared-rooms, so 2 students per room which is always fun to decorate and play!
Thanks for reading!