News, On Campus, Column

A Winter Survival Guide: ‘Corinsight’ On How To Thrive In 2015

In light of the 24-plus inches of snow that our fave “Fertile Myrtle,” Juno dumped across the greater Boston area last week—manna from heaven that allotted the Boston College student body two glorious days off of class, a New England Classic-sponsored “snowball war” of epic proportions in the Mod Lot, and ample opportunity for Instagenius—I feel it only appropriate and imperative that I provide my fellow Eags with some sort of BC Survival Guide. Time is of the essence with these sorts of things, right? And a super pregnant snowpocalypse stops for no one. Sure, Juno is behind us, but I’m pretty confident that the groundhog is gonna freak out when he sees his shadow today—I’m expecting six more weeks of bitter winter that, let’s be real, won’t be all fun, games, and snow days. Therefore, here is my two cents on surviving (hell, thriving) amid the sometimes-icy conditions of the Heights—take it or leave it.

When it comes to the coffee-dependent trenches that are the waiting/spying/prowling nooks of the Stokes South Chocolate Bar, it’s survival of the fittest. During the late morning and early afternoon, it’s pure badassity that distinguishes a savvy BC bid in all of that caffeinated chaos—never mind the espresso drink she’s holding.

The secret? Two words: liquid level. C’mon, y’all, when the meniscus is just above the level of ice cubes, you know you’re almost in the clear—get ready to pounce. Be aggressive; sprint; jump; box out. I don’t care if you’re embarrassed—will you be embarrassed when you’ve secured a super clutch table near a wall outlet? No. So go on, get out there. With hot coffee, it’s a little more difficult to gauge, but let’s be real—anyone who is visibly straining, drink upside down, to drain the last dregs from a fatigued paper cup is surely nearing a hasty departure. She came, she saw, she caffeinated, and now it’s your turn to conquer, so grab the bull by the horns.

Similarly, but perhaps on a larger scale—my apologies, employees of the lovely and popular Chocolate Bar, but the gravity of the situation has intensified—seat competition at Fuel America coffeehouse in Brighton is nearly cutthroat. Snagging a spot at Fuel on Saturday morning is akin to seizing the last antelope as it grazes on the Sahara—sans the fear that another desert predator will quite literally kill you, and plus a lot of (almost equally as perilous) hipster-intellectual judgment.

Want to be the hunter, rather than the hunted? Here’s how: even if you plan on meeting up with friends at some point during these three hours when you’re definitely going to dedicate yourself entirely to your homework—ha, you don’t fool me—go solo in terms of the physical seat-grabbing. Snipe out a single spot at the bar or central, wooden table upon entry. Mark a chair with your scent—uh, I mean backpack, and gradually move up the ranks throughout the day, promoting your position until “Yes!” you’ve secured a table for two near the windows. Sweet, skim, ’nilla latte success. You’re a lion, take what’s yours.

Here’s the one for which you’ve all been waiting: the Plex. Oh, glorious, non-air-conditioned, architecturally-pleasing Flynn Recreation Complex, how we adore you. If you build it, they will come, as the expression goes. As midterms approach—I’m sorry I had to say it, but we all know that, though it should be illegal, one month into the semester marks the beginning of the end … of my GPA—crowds will flock to this secular temple, bowing down to the alleged gods of swole (and Spring Break). Bids and bros alike will struggle to secure fitness machines and choice exercise spots.

While there may be some validity to idioms such as “the early bird gets the worm” and “early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise,” I can’t attest to either personally, if only because I’m neither fowl nor male (but also because I’m physically unable to rise before double-digit hours of the a.m.). Rather, I suggest you brave the chilly, evening temp drop (and harsh roommate scorn) to work out at night—there’s a certain peace to being among those who really do not want to talk to/work out alongside/compete with anyone at the Plex. Ten o’clock p.m.: that’s the ticket. Really, though, what it comes down to in the moment is pure speed and endurance. Sure, you might be suffering from the sophomore slump, but I ask you this: there’s one treadmill left, and an unsuspecting freshman is stretching on the mats while waiting—be real with yourself, what are you gonna do? We all had to take the Presidential Physical Fitness Test in grade school—I know you can pick up the pace. Show ’em what you’re made of. Just do it. (But for yourself, not for Nike.)

So, anyway, good luck to all fellow Eagles on the warpath. (Hoo Hah.) Or something like that.

February 2, 2015

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