Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Recently, you may have spotted signs around campus with a headline something along the lines of, “What is one thing you brought to Swat but didn’t use.” In typical Swattie fashion, students replied with sardonic, but at times relatable, jibes like “My pillow” or “My will to live”. Though I am more than willing to complain about my workload, here are some actual things that I brought to Swat but never (or almost never) used.
As an incoming freshman, I was filled with bold aspirations and the determination to be the most organized student. And what is an organized student without his or her stationery? I bought folders, binders, pens of different colors, and even stickers to label these articles. Pretty soon, I realized that organization is too much work and that I am better off with just a pencil and a book to take notes in. Printed out readings just get shoved in my backpack, only to be recycled at the end of the semester, and everything else goes straight to the bottom drawer in my desk, never to see the light of day again.
I bought a small whiteboard that I stuck on the wall next to my desk. I anticipated I would use it for noting down deadlines and to-do lists, and for a while I did. Eventually, it turned out to be too much effort, and Google Calendar proved to be much more efficient.
Fun fact: I like reading. I also filled up my hand luggage on my flight from India to the US with a bunch of books I intended to read. But when I struggle to finish the books I need to read for my political science class, I can’t expect to read other books for leisure. A copy of King Lear is sitting on my bookshelf with its plastic wrapping intact. My current plan for the summer is to lock myself in my room for three months and read without stopping.
- Second set of sheets
Honestly, I’m kind of disgusted by this one. I had naively thought that coming to college would mean being an adult and regularly changing my sheets and, y’know, being clean and stuff. But a combination of procrastination and the excuse, “I don’t have time” means that the last time I even washed my current sheets was a month before winter break.
This one’s actually not a bad thing. I have NEVER had to carry my wallet on campus. Events are cash-free, and I can even use my OneCard in the Ville. I even use Venmo to pay my friends for things, which means that I only need to use cash or my debit card when I go out someplace.
Image courtesy of scottarboretum.org.