September 18, 2020

On-campus living: my two cents

Think living in Centennial Hall is a fate worse than death? Think again! (Jamie Primeau / Features Editor)

New Residence Hall, Decker Hall, Cromwell Hall, the athletic fields, Travers and Wolfe Halls, parking lots and garages, all the Townhouses, the Phelps and Hausdoerffer apartments, the Spiritual Center and the Student Recreation Center.

What do these campus locations all have in common?

Although you may mistake this as the lengthy list of everywhere you’d rather live next year instead of Centennial Hall, the actual reason for these places being grouped together may make you reconsider your resentment for Cent.

According to an e-mail sent out by the College Relations Department on Tuesday, Feb. 8, these locales were among the many affected by a power outage.

Good thing they sent out that message, otherwise I would have never known.

As I sat in my dorm room – lights on, laptop plugged into its charger and refrigerator running – I realized that this incident provided further proof for a theory I developed shortly after move-in day: Centennial is not that bad. In fact, it’s not bad at all.

To all those freshmen who are already hating on this residence hall, let me tell you, you’ve got it all wrong.

Built in 1955, this piece of architecture provides lakeside views of the College’s scenery, or a nice glimpse at the equally and aesthetically wonderful library, depending on which side of the building you’re on. (Unless you live on the first floor, then you can’t see out some of the windows, since you’re technically living underground.)

I think living here can be a fantastic experience. As in, literally fan-tastic, where using three or more fans at the same time can make you forget air-conditioning was ever invented.

In all seriousness, the place has its perks.

Close enough to the library, I can access its Wi-Fi connection. This means no need for Ethernet chords – I’m sure I can’t be the only one who’s ever tripped over those pesky wires.

And, where else can you reach the third floor by only having to take one flight of stairs? It’s a nice break, after living a life where trekking to anywhere above Travers 5 is basically the equivalent of mountain climbing.

What other building automatically evokes pity from whoever asks about where you live or a sense of solidarity among those who toughed it out before you? Personally, I am tired of hearing: “They didn’t knock that down yet?”

It’s that time of year again, where those planning to reside on-campus are paying deposits and hoping for advantageous timeslots.

I must say, I feel your pain and share your stress … That is, unless you’re a freshman (soon-to-be-sophomore), which means you will have GUARANTEED HOUSING next year.

What about all us upperclassmen who potentially can log into MyHousing on February 22 and see a blank screen? Shouldn’t we be the ones concerned?

Admittedly, I’m slightly terrified at the thought of being the only one of my friends without a lottery number and left to fend for a place to live out in Ewing.

Then I remember that it’s only a month into the second semester, and the following fall semester is literally eight months away.

Stop over-worrying about what will happen a year from now, and enjoy your on-campus abode while you still have one.

I’ve learned it’s a long walk to T-Dubbs from … well, anywhere besides Travers and Wolfe.

If you do receive an unfortunate timeslot, it’s not the end of the world. I was in your shoes a year ago, and wish someone had told me what I now know.

The only thing I miss about life in the Towers? The sinks.

Go wash dishes, drink a glass of water, clean your face and brush your teeth from the convenience of your own room while you still can.

Otherwise, when you’re living with your friends, anywhere can become your own “New Residence Hall.” I’ve come to believe that the seemingly overused advice is true – it’s what you make of it.

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