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October 12, 2013


And This Week Too

After two midterms in the last week (on top of all the normal homework), it’s Fall Break. This means I have next Monday and Tuesday off, no classes. And then a midterm on Wednesday. It doesn’t let up.

Fall Break means that everyone from New England (and New York and New Jersey) leaves to spend the long weekend at home.


Campus during Fall Break.

Meanwhile, I’m left to reflect on the ups and downs of college life. I haven’t shared a room since fourth grade. And I’ve never shared a bathroom with 12 other guys.

So here’s some of the downsides:

  • You have to wear flip-flops (or other shoes) in the bathroom. This gets old fast. 
  • There’s tons of food available at all times. While this may sound like an upside, it’s actually a lot harder to restrain yourself. Plus there’s dessert every night, which I’ve never experienced before.
  • Another bathroom-related note: it’s annoying not to have all your stuff (razor, shaving cream, shampoo, soap) in the bathroom. You have to carry it all there. Not the worst thing in the world, just a little annoying.
  • Some days you’ll have tons of free time, some days none. Unlike high school, where it’s easy to establish a routine (breakfast, school, home, break, homework, bed), in college, none of that applies. Every day classes start at a different time, and assignments come in waves.
  • You go outside a lot more. It’s getting colder (I actually rubbed my ears to warm them up today) and all my classes, my meals, and half my friends, live in places that you need shoes to go to.

There’s lots of upsides, too:

  • You go outside a lot more. I remember one day over the summer, still living at home, and at the end of the night I realized I hadn’t been outside for over 24 hours. It kinda sucked. Now, I go outside probably 10 times a day, and several pleasant afternoons have been spent sitting on the Green. 
  • You get to see people all the time – and by “people”, I mean your friends. In high school, hanging out with friends wasn’t hard – but it was something you “did”. You had to go somewhere and it wasn’t routine. Here, spending time with friends is the default activity. It’s a natural consequence of living within 500 meters of everyone you know.
  • Learning is everywhere. Not only am I doing a lot of it myself, but so is everyone else. I talk to people all the time about cool stuff they found out in class today.
  • There’s always something to do. Shows, lectures, comedians, bands… yesterday there was fantastic a capella singing at Red Square. The night before that there was a lecture on policing in 19th century France.

So that’s what I’ve found about living in college so far. It’s actually pretty much what I expected. And now, for the second week, back to studying for midterms!

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