My last two weeks have been pretty busy and it’s been a while since my last post. But I promise it’s not because I forgot you! I did forget my computer charger at a friend’s school though, and for the last two weeks I’ve been rocking it old school taking notes with a pen and paper while my computers been dead. “Well that doesn’t sound too bad” you say. But wait! Did I mention it was exam week and all my notes were saved to my now inaccessible computer?
This was serious.
So what’s it like to not have a computer in college? Well honestly it’s pretty manageable and at Tufts you can rent a laptop or use a Library computer for when you absolutely need it. If you’re a person who likes taking notes by hand, keep well organized paper work, and can entertain yourself without the internet then you can get away with it!
But I’m not one of those people and not having my laptop was just the worst. How bad? You ask. So bad that I can chart my progress with Kübler-Ross’ 5 stages of grief. Ya, get ready.
Initially I was completely unfazed. “This is nothing” I thought “I don’t need my computer for class. I have my old reliable pen and paper. I don’t need the internet, I can read books and I really should study more anyway. Ya, I can rise above this. Just wait; by the end of this I won’t even want my computer back!”
So there I was, all gung ho about academic rigor when suddenly “Wait, how am I supposed to study when I can’t listen to music!”
My façade was shattered and from there I moved on to:
STAGE 2- ANGER
As a quick note I generally have two types of anger. One type is the rational, well founded, controlled frustration. This one I use for constructive problem solving and crisis aversion. This is not the one I used over the last two weeks. Instead, I chose unwarranted seething and a misplaced feeling of victim hood.
As a side note: you should go Google “People screaming at cell phones.” It just looks like everyone’s taking really aggressive selfies, or maybe updating their dentist about their cavities.
I had irrational fury telling me it wasn't my fault I forgot my computer but it was my friend's fault for not reminding me to look for my computer because he should have known I would misplace it. He’s the real jerk here!
This argument was convincing for all of twenty seconds so I quickly moved on to:
Stage 3- Bargaining
So as I’ve already mentioned, Tisch Library at Tufts lets students use their computers for free and allows students to rent laptops. Obviously this seems like the perfect solution, except for one caveat. To keep a laptop all day you need to recheck the laptop out in person every four hours.
HOW MILDLY INCONVENIENT!
So what’s the big deal? Well in order to have a laptop for school I would need to go the library first thing in the morning, check out a laptop, and go to my class usually in the other direction from where I came. Then afterwards I could either immediately renew the rental by walking all the way back to Tisch, or I could just go to my next class and remember to book it over to the library after (HA! Pun).
Honestly I just don’t like walking that much so I constantly pestered the staff for an extension on the rentals. I tried offering my wallet as collateral. Then I tried calling them to try and extend my session. And finally I considered the cost-benefit of just paying the late dues (which at one dollar an hour was not a habit I wanted to start). Foiled, I moved on to:
Stage 4- Depression
Listen, I really don’t like walking.
Stage 5- Acceptance
Eventually I got into the pattern of checking out laptops, typing my notes on Google docs, and coping without my own computer. It actually wasn’t so bad, I got out of my dorm more, got a nice change of scenery throughout the day, I played less silly flash games, and all in all I was probably better for it.
That said, my charger came in the mail yesterday and I am never going back.