Wednesday August 22, 2001
I heard all the horror stories.
“You’ll never get an elevator.”
“Pack a lunch because it’s going to be a lonnnnnnng day.”
After hearing about the pleasures of move-in day, it sounded more like the most depressing day of my life rather than the most exciting. Nevertheless, I continued to pack and made the drive down from Philadelphia in about three-and-a-half hours. When I arrived at the Hall on Virginia Avenue, there were no lines.
Each of my five trips up the elevator came with no stress. In fact, all three elevators were waiting for me in the lobby just begging to be used. I didn’t even pack a lunch. A miracle, you ask? Nah, I just moved in Wednesday night – a day before the crowd came.
While outsmarting 99 percent of the freshman class was certainly a major lifetime accomplishment, there was more to be done.
On Thursday morning, I awoke to an empty floor and a room with two other freshmen. I got dressed and went downstairs to see the commotion.
There were people. Lots of people. I was nearly positive that the entire states of New York and New Jersey had descended upon GW.
The line for the two elevators was 10 families long and the line on the street consisted of about 15 families with entire dorm rooms unloaded onto the grass. But they remained patient even though they knew they would not be moving in for at least another hour, even as their precious belongings baked in the sun. I tried not to laugh too hard.
I escaped to the stairwell and got my exercise running to the eighth floor. After returning, I took a minute to admire our room. Three huge windows. Two sinks. Cable. Wall-to-wall carpeting. Individual phone lines. A huge television with a Playstation 2. A private bathroom. Two awesome roommates. What more could anyone want in a freshman dorm room?
The room was fantastic, but we had to figure out a way to make all our stuff fit in the cramped drawer space. Mission Impossible came to mind. Slowly but surely the drawers were filled. The boxes disappeared and there was room to walk. All of my clothes found a home. Textbooks vanished from the middle of the room. Everything was looking up, and then the trouble started.
My network jack was dead. The cable signal was fuzzy. And best of all, the toilet seat was broken. While there wasn’t anything serious like a missing desk or no running water, we had items that needed to be addressed nonetheless.
I know, I know. I complain about nothing, but these things are important! How can I watch TV with a fuzzy picture? How could I live without AOL Instant Messenger? How was I supposed to use the bathroom? After careful consideration, these problems were more serious than I originally thought.
The toilet seat was reported and actually replaced in a day. Impressive. What wasn’t so impressive was the news from ResNet. They informed me that all non-functioning jacks wouldn’t be fixed until at least Tuesday. If I had no clue about computers, the news would’ve been very upsetting.
Later that day I took the Metro for the first time to Pentagon City on the Blue Line – a nice mall, but it’s no King of Prussia. The destination was Best Buy. The objective was to share the internet connection using a working jack.
A few hours after the successful trip, all three computers were up and chatting. Mental meltdown averted. Yeah, yeah, call me a dork, but I don’t care.
I could do no wrong until I made the biggest mistake of the day. I went to the HOVA diner for dinner. It looked innocent enough, complete with non-buffet-style menus and waitress service. Each meal came with a soup and salad, and I couldn’t figure out what to get since I was so hungry. Unfortunately, I should have called my order-in, because it took an hour and a half to get dinner.
But to tell the truth, almost everything the past few days has been exceptional. Even the convocation was great! The real highlight was seeing all the empty seats reserved for those Thurston partiers who were too cool to show up.
Now, unfortunately, everything’s set up and classes have started. I know my way around campus somewhat and can get to the Marvin Center and back without a map. You can hold your applause on that one.
I know only three more things: I can only stay up all night Thursday through Sunday, I’m still waiting for my cable to be fixed and I have no clue how to pack a lunch.