Oberlin Blogs

Postcards from the Edge

April 19, 2012

Eleanor Bronder-Major ’15

In the time since I last wrote I have gone slightly crazy, constricted my social life to the two people who are most frequently in my immediate vicinity, and begun spending large amounts of time in Mudd library, often late at night. The title of this post, aside from being an allusion to Postcards from the Edge (which, full disclosure, I have never read or watched) AND ALSO to the Simon and Garfunkel album, is a reference to the time Mudd closes, which is 2 AM on weeknights and 10 PM (outrageous!) on weekends. All you prospies considering coming here, ask yourself seriously: what are you going to be doing on Friday nights? Because if it isn't sleeping or partying, I don't know what you're going to do, because the LIBRARY isn't even open. 1

In the spirit of Chinwe's guide to surviving finals (which, incidentally, I didn't follow. I was too busy being emotionally involved during finals to worry about anything other than getting through without breaking into tears) I'd like to present the aspiring student with this collected wisdom. Think of it as a window into the life you will be living in a year. Kidding.

1. Move around. We bloggers have practically written a thesis on the soporific powers of womb chairs. It's the truth. Plus, they're undignified (like life). Also, Mudd has this Panopticon thing going on that can be kind of distracting. I value my privacy over my dignity, so I usually go for the womb chairs. The way to avoid falling asleep is to set limits for yourself: I like to spend an hour polishing off reading for one class safely ensconced in a womb chair, and then go down to A-level to work on an essay or Hebrew homework or something. This is how I get all my exercise these days, sidenote.

2. Take breaks. Griff suggests putting your face against the cool glass of the windows looking over Wilder Bowl. I suggest washing your face.

3. Speaking of dignity, lose it. The nice thing about going slightly crazy (I realize this is not an option for some people, with social lives and jobs and reputations to uphold) is that you can stop worrying and really get into researching Jewish immigrant life in the early twentieth century.

4. Get a really good soundtrack. Preferably it should be interesting, slightly embarrassing, and, depending on your current level of mental health, not in a minor key. The wrong music can freak you out; the right music can give you the energy to keep going through an evening of George Eliot. I will not lie, I have a playlist expressly for mornings after I spend nights in Mudd, and it's called irrationality. This is what it looks like. It is short because, as mentioned before, I like to switch around. Generally this length is good because when I get tired I can switch to something equally weird, like one of the numerous Harry Potter soundtracks I possess.

4. Bring water. My parents, like parents everywhere, are constantly nagging me to eat healthily (given that one of my main food groups at this point is Chocolate Cake, they may have grounds for concern), and, following some health problems early in the semester, to "drink lots of water." Plus, Mudd for some reason always makes me feel really dried out, which can put a serious damper on my mood/productivity. I am a fan of lime water, and I also always bring a chapstick.

5. Find one night a week when you can go to bed early. For me this is Wednesday, because for some reason, my Wednesdays are less crazy than the beginning of the week (crazy amounts of work) or the end of the week (crazy amount of fiction reading).

I want people to love Mudd, and obviously some people already do, but I hope that not too many people do because then it might be crowded at 2 AM, and one of the best things about staying up until 2 AM studying is the peace and quiet. I realize I am shooting my self in the foot here. On a related note, keep New Hampshire a secret.

[1] Actually, there totally are things to do on a Friday night, I just choose not to do most of them.

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