My mom gave me a plant.

This plant was grown from a plant that she was given in celebration of my birth a little over 19 years ago. It traveled with us in the back seat of Tabitha from Nebraska through Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia until it moved onto my nightstand in Savannah, where it is now a permanent fixture of my dorm room.

I love this plant.

Since none of my roommates feel that we’re ready to be responsible for the life of a fish, it’s the only living thing for which I am solely responsible, besides a little succulent gifted to me by our not-roommate roommate. (She lives on our couch.) But since that can survive probably 60 or so years without being watered, it’s low-maintenance enough that I don’t feel the pressure of responsibility for it. My other plant is a different matter.

Almost immediately upon arrival, I noticed some mold growing in the dirt of my plant. I texted my mom about it, and she said it “probably wasn’t a big deal for now.” I asked her when I should start worrying about it. She said never, it’s a plant. I said but it’s my plant and 100% reliant on me for life. She said she wouldn’t have gotten it for me if she’d known I would put myself under so much pressure.

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pictured: failure, and an oddly maternal sense of guilt.

Well, the mold didn’t go away and I kept accidentally overwatering my plant. In my defense, it soaks up water really fast and then pulls a smooth 180º and doesn’t absorb a drop, so it’s kind of easy to do. So I made the call to go to Home Depot.

At Home Depot, a large bearded man advised me to repot it in new dirt and buy a new pot. I agreed to the first point but not the second, because I’m a college student and my money is for textbooks and gouache. A few minutes later, I was exchanging $4.15 for a literal bag of dirt and on my merry way back to the Hive.

This is where dorm solutions come in. I didn’t really have a place to repot my plant, because I don’t have a yard, so I had to get somewhat creative.

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The repotting process went far better than expected, with a standard amount of dirt spillage and simple clean up. (The bag of discarded wet dirt looked a little suspicious as I took it down to the trash room, but fortunately I didn’t see anyone so it didn’t get weird.) Now my plant is happy and healthy, and, God willing, it will remain that way for many years until I can put it next to the TV in my own living room someday.

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Side note, I’m changing my major to photography.

You may be wondering why I just wrote roughly 450 words about a potted plant that lives in my dorm, in which case I have two answers for you:

  1. This plant is the only living thing here for me to care for, and it helps to fill the void in my heart created by leaving my puppies in Nebraska.
  2. It’s literally the most interesting thing in my life right now.

Stay tuned for my next update, which will very likely be about the disturbing disappearance of blue cheese at the salad bar because, and I cannot stress this enough, there is that little of interest going on for me.

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