Dorm Culture: When Creative Laziness Evolves

24 January 2012

A few things really surprised me about the first semester of college.

The unexpected freedom, the pitfalls of living with two roommates, the way the toilet paper in the community bathroom has about the thickness and texture of saran wrap.

But the biggest surprise has been the culture of creative laziness that just seems to naturally occur when your mom’s not around to clean up the eight coke cans on your desk.

We all need a snack when studying

It sneaks up on you, this kind of personal procrastination. One moment you’re trying to be frugal by saving on plastic silverware and the next you’re eating peanut butter from the jar with a lollipop stick.

And it’s not just me – one of my roommates, instead of doing laundry, has just resolved to constantly buying new socks (while an effective short-term solution, the dirty sock-mountain in his closet is growing dangerously large).

I thought things would reach a tipping point last week for the guys across the hall. For some unknown reason there was a localized power outage in their room, including their bathroom, which turned their already messy room a dark abyss.

For some reason I had the idea that they would handle the problem like normal humans – reporting it to our RA, trying to fix it themselves, or at the very least attempting to set up some type of candle apparatus (apparently all the lighters in their room are being used for other purposes.) To my dismay (and their credit), my hallmates simply took the power outage in stride, adapting their lifestyle to the new lack of light.

An epic setup they had crafted
in the dark

They quickly learned to expertly navigate the desk chairs and clutter that covered their floor, probably through some form of crude echolocation. Any form of reading was done during daylight hours, pressed against the window, as they tried to capture the meager light that shone through.

Even late-night bathroom trips didn’t faze them – they enthusiastically told me that through use of some creative positioning and slightly better-than-average aim it was quite possible to use a cell-phone light to pee successfully.

The power mysteriously came back on two weeks later, and they returned to the lives of normal freshman, albeit a little bit more squinty in bright sunlight.

They say that cockroaches are the most capable of adapting to unpleasant environments, but I think college students might give them some stiff competition.

Then again, the two live in such close proximity to each other that at times it’s hard to tell them apart – both thrive in an environment of spilled alcohol and half-eaten Taco Bell wraps.

In other words, my dorm room.

For more original insight, check out these posts:
How to Prepare For Freshmen Year
How to Save Your $$ When Out on the Town

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