Roommates Nathan Waits, 19, and Ryan Hayhurst, 18, just moved into what the British-born Hayhurst calls their first “flat” – in Warrior C, the newest and most-in-demand living option on Indiana Tech’s Fort Wayne campus.
Part of the three-story, townhouse-style dorms that now line East Washington Street, the young men’s accommodations aren’t fancy – utilitarian brown carpet, beigeish walls, one window, a bathroom with a shower and toilet separate from the sink, a built-in clothing rack with shelves, two beds, two desks, two chairs and two drawers apiece.
The main living space – minus the bathroom – is only 11 by 15 feet.
But these two freshman soccer hopefuls – Waits made the team while Hayhurst is red-shirting the season with an injury – say their new suite suits them just fine.
“We didn’t need to bring a whole lot,” says Waits, an accounting major from Carmel.
That, adds Hayhurst, was a good thing in his case because he traveled from his home in Bedfordshire, England, to attend Indiana Tech.
The school offered him a financial aid package too good to turn down, he says.
“I always wanted to live in America,” Hayhurst says. “It was a lifetime opportunity I had to take.”
Hayhurst says all he brought with him from home was “every single piece of clothing I have” – plus some music, a speaker and a laptop.
Once here, with a gift from his parents, he bought one of the real necessities of college life for the room – a microwave. Waits contributed a small refrigerator – after all, the two need to stay hydrated, he says.
As their major décor accessory, the two selected bedding that coordinates nicely – though completely by accident.
Waits brought a navy-blue comforter that turns into a sleeping bag for his bed and a couple of pillows from home, while Hayhurst bought new pillows and bedding with navy blue and gray stripes.
The roommates don’t have a television, but Hayhurst says he doesn’t mind because, for now, he can watch movies from Netflix on his laptop.
Dorm residents also can watch a wall-mounted flat-screen in the spacious common room just off the security-controlled entrance to the dorm’s first floor.
The commons is decorated with a gray stone fireplace, gray-and-black-striped carpets, an overstuffed sofa and armchairs that feature one of the school’s colors, burnt orange. Round tables and chairs for studying or chatting complete the furnishings.
For the two, the dorm is conveniently located just steps from what Hayhurst calls “the pitch” – the soccer field.
While Hayhurst says he misses the comfy double bed with a memory-foam mattress he has at home – “where I can roll over and not hit the wall,” he says – Waits says the accommodations aren’t much different from what he’s used to. At home, he’s been sharing his bedroom with his 13-year-old brother, Benjamin.
“This is the first time I’m living on my own,” he says, adding he wanted to attend a college close enough to home that he could easily get there during weekends or breaks.
But don’t get him wrong – he loves dorm life. “There’s just more freedom. I don’t have mom or dad looking over their shoulders,” he says.
A physical education major who hopes to play professional soccer in the United States after college and eventually teach and coach, Hayhurst says he won’t be able to go home until the end of the 2014 spring semester. He plans to visit an aunt in Pensacola, Fla., during semester break.
“For me the only hard thing is being away from my friends and family, but we Skype,” he says, sitting at his desk in front of a framed family photo of his mom and dad and his two older brothers decked out in their Sunday best at for a family friend’s wedding.
“We can keep in touch. I Skype every day,” he says.
The two can’t wait until they can get their first real apartment after college.
“When I get my first flat, I want it modern. I want everything tech – a 3-D TV on the wall would be amazing,” Hayhurst says. “I’m going to work as hard as I can to achieve it.”
Waits, meanwhile, doesn’t have any styling preferences. He just wants his first place to have “a nice fridge” and a flat-screen.
“I’d like anything with an interesting view,” he says. “I’m pretty open to anything.”