Oberlin Blogs

Life in a Cardboard Box

May 14, 2009

Ma'ayan Plaut ’10

Have you heard of a cardboard box major? It's basically one of those "useless" majors that you'll graduate from college with and only be able to afford living in a cardboard box. To the untrained eye, Oberlin is chock full of them (Cinema Studies? What can you do with cinema studies? Making movies? Hahahaaaa), even though Obies take their majors in run in a similar direction doing great things, rather than being starving artists.

Why cardboard boxes? Well, here I sit, between boxes using sweatshirts as pillows and stroking a panda. And writing a blog. And most definitely not packing.

Remember how I mentioned there are all these distractions during reading period and finals? Ah, yes, there is another one I failed to mention earlier, and that is PACKING.

Here are your options:

* Steadily pack through the last week of classes and finals, and pack your 5 college-sanctioned maximum-sized 18"x18"x16" boxes in the storage area of your future dorm. Pro: It is a productive distraction! Con: If storing in campus storage, your boxes must be in before the middle of finals week, which is fine if your finals end early, but unfortunate because it means you'll be sleeping in a sleeping bag when preparing for your finals.

* Pack all your things in a mad rush, hoping some make it into college storage, but the rest go into a storage unit off campus, probably splitting it with some friends, that you visit late at night the day before you plan to leave. Pro: Sleeping on sheets through finals, being able to store more than five boxes, as well as things like refrigerators. Con: You have to have a car to get to a storage unit, and it costs money.

* Put your stuff into your car (or your friends' car), in trash bags, suitcases, boxes, what have you, drive home, reverse the direction but follow the same pattern in the fall. Pro: More time to "pack." Con: Not seeing out of your rearview mirror, and if you leave trashbags outside for too long while stuffing the car you may or may not lose them to the municipal trash collection, and/or they will melt in the sun.

* Rent a house that comes with free summer storage. I love my landlord next year. Pro: Free! Storage! Con: You have to be off campus...


* Can I store a refrigerator? No, not in college storage. Find a friend to take it home, sell it, or give to someone. If you're lucky, it will mate with your friend's refrigerator, and you will have baby refrigerators to sell to freshmen next year.

* What if I have too much stuff? There is a glorious thing called THE BIG SWAP, where people bring their excess things and trade them out for other people's excess things. Hopefully, you'll leave with less than you came in with. You can also sell your textbooks back to the bookstore so that you can buy storage boxes.

* Those 18"x18"x16" boxes? Where do I get them? The UPS store downtown stocks up on hundreds of boxes to sell to the swarming college students. Also, that's the maximum size, so if you find boxes, or bring some from home when you move in, you can just save them and reuse them (We are Oberlin! Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!).

* What if I want to live in Oberlin for the summer? Well, I wouldn't recommend living in a storage unit. In regards to storing things, you can rent a unit for a portion of a month, so if you choose to stay here you can have access to your things for the summer.

So now that I still haven't started packing, I think I'll finish another blog post.

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