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The Only Living Girl in Milbank

November 22, 2006   

It’s Thanksgiving Eve, and I am currently in my dorm room on the first floor of Milbank, on the very dark Dark Side; most the lights on campus have been turned off and the buildings locked, since classes ended yesterday afternoon. Fortunately, I am shipping out to Oklahoma in T minus 11 hours, but that’s after a solid day of being totally, utterly alone in my suite.

This is not an entry to publicize how easily-spooked I can become. Rather, it’s a survival guide for anyone who may have the misfortune of being the Last One Who Goes Home.

Tip #1: Plan Activities. In my Day of Solitude, I realized I needed to get outside, if only for a little while. Rather than wander around aimlessly, jumping at every squirrel who happened to be snacking in a tree (squirrels make some really strange noises, if you’re ever close enough to hear them), I went on a Bicycle Hunt. Thanks to the Gilded Bicycle Guild, there are bicycles available for any passerby to ride, and I set out to find one and ride around campus. Unfortunately, my hunt proved unsuccessful — the one bike I did find happened to be much too tall for me. But I did end up at the library in my wanderings.

Tip #2: Treat Yourself. One of my suitemates is notorious for checking out something around fifty books over the course of the semester — he says it “always cheers him up.” The library was miraculously open today, so I went in and spent a few hours just meandering around the second floor, shopping. Books aren’t due until the end of semester, and while I doubt I’ll make it through the dozen I picked up today, having them around is somehow comforting.

Tip #3: Take Advantage of the Solitude. By which I mean, do as much laundry as possible, since no one else will be doing it. I know most students take their dirty clothes home, but if you’re not really comfortable with your dirty clothes bag getting searched at the airport, being alone on campus means no laundry line.

Tip #4: Feast! This actually wasn’t much of a choice — there were absolutely no dining services available on campus today. Hypothetically, had I found a bike, I could’ve ridden down the hill and eaten at the little bistro on the park, but I ordered way too much Chinese food instead and watched Rushmore. I could have ordered pizza — maybe even a Super Pie — but the reason I didn’t is a whole different story.

While I’ll be glad to be around humanity again, albeit in the form of my relations (I’m kidding, Mom), being the only resident in the whole residence hall does have its perks.