There's something despairing about leaping from server to server when you're trying to get work done. Harvard University, Harvard Secure, Harvard Guest, and yes, even Harvard Wifi Set-Up. We've tried them all, and all of them constantly disappoint us.
There's absolutely nothing more dreaded than seeing the flippant "trying to connect" message pop up on Google Docs when your paper is due in 20 minutes. You would think that the richest university in the world would have enough money to keep its wifi servers up and running, but alas, Harvard ~boasts~ what is possibly the least reliable wifi network in the world. Don't believe us? Here are some things that are way more reliable than Harvard's wifi:
The Chip Selection at the JFK Street CVS
This CVS always comes in clutch with a beautiful array of chips, curated so you'll see them the moment you enter the store...unless it's 11 p.m. on a weeknight. Then, there's probably only 2 bags of plain Lays left and a sad jar of Tostitos Spinach Artichoke Dip. If you go at the right time, the harvest is bountiful. If not, you'll have to trudge all the way over to the other CVS and scavenge. Especially scarring if you're a freshman. The worst part? There's no guarantee that they'll have the snack item you want. But even with this spotty selection, we can rely on CVS more than Harvard's wifi.
New England Weather
So let's get this straight: the region was blanketed by back-to-back snowstorms just a few weeks ago, and now Cambridge is gliding between high 60s and low 50s. We went from Canada Goose central to people thinking it’s acceptable to wear basketball shorts again. The piles of freshly fallen snow are already melting (read: gone), and we didn’t even get to sled down Widener’s steps. What’s next? Hail? A tornado? There’s no guessing. In a way, New England's unreliably weather has become quite reliable in that it's consistently inconsistent. You at least know what you're getting yourself into. But Harvard's wifi will work perfectly for a week straight, right until you desperately need it.
Getting your printer to work
Another realm where Harvard technology fails us is in the printing. It takes approximately 300 years and one of your kidneys to set it up, and often documents get lost in the grid, costing you $.05 for nothing but disappointment. Although it’s certainly a process, most of the time if you cry and spend too much time working on it, your paper will finally be printed. When it comes to the wifi, there’s nothing you can do but hope and offer a sacrifice to the internet gods.
That Kid Who Never Does Work for Your Group Assignment
We all know this kid, and we all hate him with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. You text him, email him, maybe even send him a written letter to his mailbox—still, nothing. He leaves you on read, and if he does respond, it’s to tell you how busy he is. If you’re lucky, he’ll pull through with 24 hours to spare, and will maybe toss in a few grammatical corrections and a couple sentences here and there. After all, you’re in this together. The wifi, however, owes you nothing.
Hopefully, someone in Harvard IT will realize that the general student populace is suffering and will have mercy on us. Until then, we'll just keep praying to those wifi gods.
P.S. The wifi stopped working a total of 15 times while this piece was being written. How fun!