Forgotten Fruits: Students Miss the Little Things Left in Dorm Rooms

by Kamren Khan | 5/20/20 2:15am

by Dylan Cerveny / The Dartmouth

There are about 17 clementines decomposing in my dorm right now. What can I say? I’m just a boy who loves citruses. Unfortunately, those citruses got caught in the crossfire of COVID-19. Like many other students, most of my belongings are stuck in my dorm. Those belongings include the pencil box I’ve used since kindergarten and a pair of the ugliest handmade slippers anyone has ever seen.

Before, those things had been just that — things. But now I realize how much I enjoyed hearing the obnoxious snap of my pencil box as it shuts or watching my slippers slowly disintegrate as I delicately walk across campus. Most of all, I miss my sweet stash of clementines. As I struggle to drown my sorrows in inferior fruits, I find solace in the fact that other students share my plight.

For Finn Hulse ’23, an attempt to strategically pack his belongings completely backfired.

“I have a little brother who’s really possessive about clothes,” Hulse said. “So when I left for college, I took every single one of my clothes with me because I knew if I left any, he would claim them as his. But when I went home, I only took a backpack worth of clothes. I brought only the most heinous, ugly clothes, and I might have to live on that for the next four years.”

However, figuring out how to navigate life without shoes isn’t the worst of Hulse’s problems. He is far more concerned with how the College’s movers will treat his other possessions.

“I have a huge number of anime posters [in my dorm] … I had to spend hours gingerly putting them on the walls. There’s no way they’re gonna be able to handle that.”

“I have a huge number of anime posters [in my dorm] … I had to spend hours gingerly putting them on the walls. There’s no way they’re gonna be able to handle that,” he lamented.

As someone who has a serial killer-esque network of sticky notes covering my dorm walls, I share similar concerns. Will two terms worth of thoughts, ideas and poorly-drawn snowmen simply be thrown out? And without my sticky notes, how am I supposed to remember random Bruce Lee quotes that are not at all applicable to my life?

Luckily for Hulse, lacking clothes and anime posters likely won’t impede his summer plan of “pursuing platinum in League of Legends,” a lifelong goal.

For others, the repercussions have been more academic. Like many of us, Madeline Duhnoski ’23 didn’t plan on using her school supplies over spring break. Now she finds herself facing the task of completing an entire term with only two eraserless pencils. But erasers weren’t the only things left behind.

“I had a math midterm and my calculator died and my charger was at school, so that posed significant difficulties,” Duhnoski said.

At the time, she believed in the apparent immortality of her TI-Nspire despite its alleged low battery.

“[I thought] it’ll be fine, it always shows this for a month before it dies, and then on question four of my exam it stopped working,” Duhnoski recounted.

Thankfully, calculator use wasn’t integral (sorry) to the rest of the exam, and things turned out fine.

Like Hulse and Duhnoski, Miles Brown ’23 didn’t feel the need to bring much home at the end of winter term.

“I was headed home pretty early since I didn’t have any exams to sit for … I had a few T-shirts with me, my laptop and a couple pens and folders,” Brown said.

Pretty soon, Brown found out that he wouldn’t be returning to campus. At first, his reduced wardrobe posed only minor issues.

“I had left all of my fall and winter clothes [at Dartmouth]. I was basically trapped in my house with sweatpants, gym shorts and a couple of T-shirts,” he said.

However, Brown is soon moving to Washington D.C. to spend the summer interning with a Connecticut senator. As far as I know, there aren’t too many senators who show up to work in sweatpants.

“I spent the last weekend frantically piecing together parts of an outfit that would qualify as business formal. I ended up not having to wear my sweatpants [to work].”

“I spent the last weekend frantically piecing together parts of an outfit that would qualify as business formal,” Brown said. “I ended up not having to wear my sweatpants [to work]. I had a friend’s suit jacket, my dad’s tie and my cousin’s shoes. I pulled it off, but it wasn’t ideal. Basically, I had one business formal outfit all together.”

In the end, it turns out that Hulse will still be able to pursue platinum in League of Legends, Duhnoski won’t fail her math class and Brown won’t be wearing shorts on the Senate floor.

Now that the College has announced a plan to return dorm belongings to students, it feels like in a subtle way, we are starting to regain some control over our lives. As I anxiously await the arrival of my beloved pencil box (which is in every way superior to a pencil pouch), I can’t help but think that we’re one step closer to walking across the Green with friends, sitting in classrooms with actual human beings and — maybe just in my case — stealing an unhealthy amounts of clementines.

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