In less than 10 days, classes will be over. Exams will be upon us. Finals week will be a short, sharp, dirty fight to the end of semester. Then the shutters of the summer will fly open, and we will leave campus and lead our glorious, non-academic lives—but first, we have to survive move-out.
Freshpeople among us will perhaps never have witnessed this phenomenon. In a lot of ways, move-out is exactly like move-in, with two major exceptions: One, you have amassed two semesters worth of stuff since September, and two, you have a very real, very finite deadline for getting all of it moved.
Do not underestimate this process. Most of us have not gymmed our way to healthful, weight-lifting muscles this past year. And our books, like the people who wrote them, are heavyweights. Re-discovered will be the graveyard of bottles and oceans of dust bunnies that have spawned in the time you weren’t paying attention.
You will sweat, you will cry, you will steal empty cardboard boxes off the streets at midnight because you’ve run out of packing materials, and (if you’re really disorganized), you will break down so that your suitemates take pity on you and pack for you. If you’re an international, you’ll probably almost miss your flight, drunk on exhaustion and bad timetabling (don’t laugh; it’s happened). Without a doubt, you will:
1. At some point, lose the tiny envelope that you’re supposed to use for checkout;
2. Run out of packing tape and wonder if normal scotch tape will do the trick;
3. Bribe friends staying on campus to hold your stuff for you;
4. Haul 60,000 tons of stuff everywhere. With your bare hands.
There are several ways to make your last few sleepless days on campus less miserable. The most efficient way, by far, is to have parents who own cars. You could probably rent them out to people who have to cart their stuff down Amsterdam in the sweltering heat to the distant cavern of Manhattan Mini Storage. Many other forms of campus storage will come with big boxes that they will whisk away and make reappear at the start of semester.
By far the best way, though, is to shed as you go. Keep the bits of the Core you care about, but sell back your books. Sell all of them. You say you’ll read them again; you never will. What you can’t sell, donate. Give and Go Green will happily take many (large) items off of your hands, such as (enormously heavy) fridges and (ridiculously space-consuming) appliances. Your wardrobe could also probably use some liberal spring cleaning.
The bag that you’ll need when you leave campus will really only contain a few things: your documents, your electronics, your wallet, the few clothes you need to look presentable at the other end of your journey, and the expectation of a summer off to recuperate and re-energize. Go home. Unpack. Sprawl. We’ll all have earned it.
Po Linn Chia is a Columbia College junior majoring in East Asian studies. She is chief of staff for CMUNNY and a member of the Global Recruitment Committee. Ever the Twain runs alternate Tuesdays.