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Column: Avoiding Real Life At Its Finest

Heights Columnist

Published: Sunday, September 16, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01

When I woke up nice and early Monday morning (read: 10 a.m.), I was completely ready to tackle the week ahead (read: I missed the weekend). After a little over a week of living the Vandy lifestyle, I had settled into my routines. I was thrilled to have my own bathroom across from my bedroom and enjoyed not having to rush to get ready in the morning. Needless to say, I was completely surprised when I walked into my bathroom to find a sink full of water and dark colored detritus on the counter. Not in any state to deal with it, I took my shower, filed a work order, and went off to class, assured that the problem would not be there upon my return in the evening.

    Upon my return at midnight, I did not find a useable bathroom as I had hoped, but rather, a much bigger problem. The flooded sink had turned into a flooded bathroom, closet, and suite hallway, with water seeping out into the main hallway. The aforementioned detritus had expanded its range of occupation and had thoroughly ruined two rugs, a soap dispenser, hand and face towels, and other bathroom accouterments.

    It goes without saying that we were ill-equipped to handle this situation. Thus, doing what any college student facing a seemingly insurmountable facilities problem in the middle of the night would do, we called the RA. Within 10 minutes, she had arrived in our room and assessed the situation as an “emergency.” Given that designation, she called BCPD and promptly returned to her slumber.

    As we waited for the nighttime facilities crew to arrive, we watched as the water stains on the carpet spread further out from the initial area of incidence. When facilities finally did arrive, they lugged in their water pump, vacuum, electric snake, and blower and made short work of the problem. After extricating a substantial amount of “gunk” (apparently a technical plumbing term) from the pipes, they thoroughly cleaned the bathroom and disposed of the detritus covered accouterments. They did all this and were out before 2 a.m.

    My first response to this incident was extreme frustration. Why couldn’t they have fixed this earlier in the day, when I put the work order in? It would have been a much smaller problem and far less damage would have been done. Plus, it wouldn’t have had to be left to the poor night shift.

    On further reflection, however, I realized something else about the incident – I am glad that I was living in a residence hall on a college campus. I had to do nothing to get the problem fixed. I just called the BCPD and it cost me nothing. Had I been living in the real world, I would have had to find a good plumber at midnight, called him in, pay an exorbitant fee, and likely have to clean a huge mess myself.

    In short, I am not living in the real world and I love it. While this seems like a self-evident truth, I think it is a little more complex than that. When freshmen arrive at college, all of the emphasis is on maturity and newfound freedom. I felt like a self-sufficient adult who got to make all my decisions for myself. I could be back in my room at whatever time I wanted on Friday night and hang out with whomever I wanted. I got to choose what I wanted to study and could choose whether or not I would even go to class.

    Certainly all of these things are true. What most freshman fail to realize is how protected they still are. As a sophomore, I am realizing and appreciating these things. I know it won’t last forever, but I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts. So, here’s one to not being a real person.


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