Carman Hall, it doesn’t get better…
Because I’m living in University Apartment Housing this year, instead of schlepping my laundry down the hall or to the basement every other week, I have to go all the way down the block to Carman whenever I run out of clean underwear or towels (or both).
And every time I go to the Carman basement, I’m hit with a wave of envy—freshman envy, specifically.
Everything looks so much nicer than during my Carman days. Back then, the Carman basement was, to be frank, disgusting. The laundry room was the temperature and humidity of a sauna, and the floor was consistently covered with a layer of dirt or water.
A few months into the first semester, the kitchen still had dirty dishes from the first weeks of school. The lounge furniture was covered with questionable stains. A friend once had a cockroach fall on her shoulder when she was studying in the lounge.
Now the laundry room sparkles, the kitchen is usable and the lounge has a performance space and a wall with things other than roaches growing on it. Oh, and there’s a fitness room.
But I’m also aware that the envy I feel when I walk into the Carman basement is really nostalgia. Doing my laundry in Carman reminds of those golden freshman days.
With two years of college under my belt, the enthusiasm I had the first semester of freshman year feels far away. I remember the excitement of the first semester when you’re doing everything for the first time—the first couple weeks of classes, first forays into the city, first slice of Koronet, first drunken mistakes at college.
It feels like nothing is as exciting now as it was freshman year, simply because the third time around is not as exciting as the first time. Plus, with every year of college comes a more concrete understanding that each of us will eventually have to leave college (unless you’re Van Wilder, of course).
Still, even though at times the first semester of freshman year felt like summer camp, I wouldn’t repeat the experience if I were given the option. I’m not interested in again feeling the anxiety that comes with not knowing what the hell you’re doing. Being an upperclassman has its own set of advantages.
Carman Hall, it may not get better in some ways, but I really wouldn’t want to be a freshman forever.
Nathalie Barton is a junior in Columbia College. Despite good times in the Carman kitchen, she’s happy that she can now satisfy late night cravings for Annie’s mac and cheese in the comfort of her own kitchen.
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