College campuses are strewn with laptops. Macbooks and PCs are ways colleges are defined sometimes (Tufts seems to be an Apple college). Posters are placed on every wall, warning you not to leave your laptop unattended. But what if you don’t even have a laptop?
I’ve always been the cautious and careful sibling, but after this, I don’t know. I spilled water on my laptop Friday night. And as my heart started racing and my voice uttered screams, I watched my computer’s dramatic death of fuzzy screen static followed by the sound of shutting-down defeat.
As I searched the Apple forums on what to do next (very useful – they helped me fix my first computer problem, even though I don’t even know how computers work), I lost more and more hope, as everything they said not to do, I did. “DON’T try to turn the computer back on until a minimum of 96 hours have passed or you might short circuit the system.” I try to turn it on after about two hours. “DON’T leave your computer upright – turn it upside down immediately to get the water deep inside out.” I left it closed, sitting on my desk for an hour. Just letting it soak in my mistakes.
Lucky for me, I only had to survive 10 days without a laptop; I could go home for Thanksgiving and use an old one (or if I didn’t feel so guilty, let my parents buy me a new one). Day 1 and 2 were surprisingly okay, only because it was the weekend, and I had things to do outside of the Internet and Microsoft Word. But once Monday hit, I started to realize just how much I relied on my laptop.
Having a laptop lets you work anywhere, any time you want. Have you ever thought about how convenient that is? “I have an hour until my next class, why don’t I hop on the computer and start researching my paper!” “I have some time until I have to go to my meeting, why don’t I go on my laptop during dinner and review my application for that internship!” “I’m tired and I don’t feel like going to the library, why don’t I just watch Netflix on my laptop in my dorm!” All of these options are nonexistent without having a laptop.
Tufts gives you a lot of resources if you are laptop-less, like the computer lab open until 4 am, or renting laptops (both PC and Mac!) for 4 hours at a time. But that means once you have a computer, there’s no goofing off. You only have 4 hours to do all the work you need to do. Or make sure the time is the computer lab is worth the trek (it’s a trek at least from where I live) uphill.
By Day 5, I started noticing that I did a lot of reading, and for once I was on top of my reading. Of course, I had a paper to write due in two days that I had yet to start, but I was on top of my reading!
By Day 6, I realized just how powerful laziness is. I started reading ahead, looking at material in my textbooks that wasn’t going to be tested or ever discussed in class. Anything but having to walk over to the computer lab and work on that paper.
By Day 7, I was surviving pretty well. Smart phones are essentially computers in your hand, so honestly, I didn’t suffer a big loss since my iPhone was still alive, although I would deplete its battery daily.
It’s currently Day...8? And I’m fine. I don’t mind. I mean, my methods had to be adjusted at the very least. This post was drafted across journals, notebooks, and my iPhone Notes app. I’ve gotten more sleep this week than I have in a while; 11:00 pm used to be my regular time to inconveniently fall into the spiraling hole of frantic Google searches for whatever was plaguing my mind. I’ve stopped multitasking on everything because no computer = no tabs. No computer also means I can’t watch Netflix and browse the web on my phone at the same time. I quickly learned that the shows I used to watch are much lower in quality, once I had to give it all my attention. If you can only do one thing at a time, and there so many things you want to do, it makes you really think about how to best spend your time. I mean, I read for leisure for the first time in weeks, and it was fantastic. People tell you take a break from technology, and you know you’re supposed to do it, but nothing will drag you away from the computer more than if the computer dies. This was my chance to take advantage, and I can’t say I’ll keep up with this lifestyle once I get my own laptop again, but it was nice while it lasted.
So, despite all this inconvenience, everything turned out for the best. That’s the only way you can think about unfortunate events like these, or else you’ll never get through them. And of all the lessons I learned in this little life experiment, the most important was this: keep your water bottle far away (at least 2 feet) from your laptop.