This year’s course registration was a little different for me. No, I’m not complaining about the arbitrary addition of the almighty “Alternate PIN” number or the anxiety of class caps. Nor am I having a heart-to-heart over the fact that the number of times I’ll have to do this again is shrinking.
This year, registration did not consist of hovering at my desk under the glow of the neon desk lamp. I was not feverishly consulting with a roommate who was sitting on the opposite side of the room. I did not get up and use the suite’s bathroom when I was done. I did not fall back asleep on extra long sheets.
This year, I sat up, still being warmed by my electric blanket. Morning sun and blue skies poured in through my mini blinds. Cats tiptoed on the linoleum floor. Things were quiet as per usual at 8:00 am. But there were no other students fumbling around the rest of the building, no footsteps out in the hallway. As I punched in my numbers to classes that are becoming more selective and less competed for, I thought back to last year and everyone else on campus.
Sure, I’m still very close. I can still get Clark Wifi from my bedroom. When I went into the kitchen, I saw the sun rising over Maywood Hall. Even though I’m “off-campus” this year, it’s not by a long shot. That being said, living off campus has changed a lot of things about my college experience, and as thoughts of next year are already planting themselves in our heads, I urge anyone considering making the switch to do so wisely.
If there’s something Clark (and probably a lot of other schools) needs work on, it’s figuring out some method of keeping those who live off campus still connected. There are so many things now that go under my radar – even the little things like student sculptures that appear on campus or spontaneous things going on in Red Square. I’m seldom in the UC anymore, and my routes to class are usually on the outskirts, down Florence and Downing. I certainly don’t regret my decision to move away from it all, but things have definitely changed.