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You don’t have to live in an overheated room

| Thursday, January 16, 2020

In early fall, the radiator in my room began hissing. I had lived in Cavanaugh for three years, and was used to all the creaks and moans of an old building, but the insistent whir of the radiator concerned me nonetheless.

I texted a few friends to complain, and asked if they experienced anything similar.

“It’s probably just turning on for the winter,” they said.

As the week went by, the room grew increasingly stuffy. Another friend suggested turning the thermostat down, but the radiator only whistled louder, and the room remained cloaked in a dry heat.

A couple of other girls in my dorm complained of sauna-like rooms and moaning pipes in their walls.

“I suppose our room could be worse,” I thought after these conversations. Learning to live with an overactive radiator seemed like just a normal part of inhabiting an old building in the winter.

“I’m just overreacting,” I thought. I had dealt with toasty rooms in Cavanaugh before.

But I wasn’t fully convinced. My roommate and I kept a window wide open during the day, and the two fans we used to circulate the cool air didn’t seem to do much for the temperature of our room. Finally, after doing some searching on the internet to find a solution, I decided to submit a work order.

Within a week, a person from maintenance stopped by our room and replaced a part of the radiator. Just like that, the room became a normal, livable temperature once again.

All of this is to say you don’t have to live in an overheated room — and you don’t have to feel bad about asking for help, or asserting yourself even if your situation isn’t as “bad” as it could be.

Maybe your overheated room is mental health struggles, which because they haven’t reached the point of completely interfering with your day-to-day functioning, make you feel embarrassed or guilty for seeking counseling. Or perhaps your overheated room is being asked to take on an increasing number of responsibilities because others won’t pick up the slack, and you feel bad saying no. Or perhaps it’s a fear of approaching someone about annoying or hurtful habits because you don’t want to upset them.

Whatever the case may be, you don’t need to make yourself suffer a prolonged, difficult situation merely out of fear that you’ll inconvenience someone whose responsibility it is to address the issue.

You’re not a burden for asking for what you need or setting boundaries. And oftentimes, people are more happy to help than you’d realize.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Natalie Weber

Natalie Weber graduated in 2020 from the University of Notre Dame, with a Bachelor of Arts in English and minors in journalism and computing. A native of Grand Junction, Colorado she most recently served as Managing Editor at The Observer. // Email: [email protected] // Twitter: @wordsbyweber

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