When I first filled out my housing application, an all-frosh dorm seemed like the most obvious way to go. So, in my constantly futile effort to not be “basic,” I applied to live in a four-class dorm instead. I justified my choice with the logic that living in a four-class dorm would give me more quiet time and ensure that work preceded frivolity at all times. Living on campus, however, has taught me how incredibly flawed this logic was.
A large part of my decision was based on the fact that I would be living with a large number of incredibly experienced upperclassmen who would guide me with intellectual conversation and philosophical thinking, teaching me how to emulate the work ethic of the quintessential Stanford student. I regret to inform any prospective four-class dorm residents that, within the last few weeks, the largest cause of distraction in this dorm, by far, has been the upperclassmen in it.
Within the first week alone, the most “intellectually stimulating” conversation I had was concerning immortality. More specifically, if I were to attain immortality without any physically damaging consequences of my actions, would I jump off buildings for fun? The debate that ensued was inconclusive, but I did end up taking a late day to submit the CS assignment I had due the next day.
Every moment of free time I get is interrupted by empty challenges that target my athletic abilities, eventually leading to hour-long, Olympic-quality ping pong games, which are accompanied by an almost professional level of avoidance of the endless p-sets and papers I have due the following day. It is at each of these games that I receive my daily dose of trash talk and ping pong balls “accidentally” aimed at my head from the wonderful people who would otherwise be obliged to not attack their fellow freshman residents.
In hopes of avoiding these periodic onslaughts, I began to enter the lounges and dining rooms after midnight, only to be peer-pressured into going to TAP to “study.” Shockingly, not a single one of these trips have been even minutely productive; most of them have been wasted on determining which substantially damaging food we were trying to clog our arteries with.
Every Friday night, I make myself comfortable in one of the lounges, glad to have escaped the noise and chaos of frat parties, hoping for some quiet time. But who needs a frat party when you live in a four-class dorm? Within moments of having settled down, my peaceful spot is consumed by particularly aggressive lip sync battles, excessively energetic karaoke sessions and, for some odd reason, onesie-clad upperclassmen.
At some point in the year, I might learn to appreciate and even share their enthusiasm. Until then, I’ll be at Windhover, attempting to abscond from the mayhem that is a four-class dorm.
Contact Raagavi Ragothaman at raagavi ‘at’ stanford.edu.