My Fourth Roommate is the Roach We Killed
Disclaimer: Author’s housing peaked during the first semester of her freshman year
This year, as I hauled all of my stuff up to my fourth-floor walk-up in Eliot House, there was one thing that I was sure of: I was glad not to be on the fifth. In fact, between offering cookies and a night of board games to the poor boys who happened to be in our vicinity when the rest of our furniture arrived, offering words of encouragement to my fifth-floor neighbor going down to do his laundry, and obsessing over tea with my resident tutor, I have already made more of a community here than I did all of last year as a COVID first-year.
So imagine how upset I was to learn that in spite of the happiness I have found, first-years are still better off than I am. Behold, Maple Yard. Yeah.
The new yard, which is composed of literal apartment complexes and former hotels, was created in order to house the record-breaking class of 2025, and man, does it seem like they’re getting compensated for something. Or maybe I am just salty that despite my relative seniority, I am in a double with one of my roommates.
On further reflection, I am way too lazy to use any of the kitchens in DeWolfe, and before I heard of the mystical land known as the Quad, I made fun of people living in the Union Dorms. In any case, in terms of quality of housing, I have less to complain about than the class of 2023. As a freshman, I got placed into a Dunster suite with two floors, which one of our lovely former Flyby chairs admitted was her top choice until Harvard dashed her hopes of returning to campus. The room was truly lovely: I could observe people make fools of themselves outside my window, watch rats run across the Dunster entrance en route to Mather, and we only had one spider visit us, leaving my bottle of Raid unused. The nicest part was my large, roomy single! If only I had known that I had peaked then.
A few cockroaches (one of which my friend posthumously named Marty) and other run-ins later, I have come to terms with my room at Harvard. Sure, it isn’t perfect, but now that the libraries are open, I can sleep there instead of my dorm room whenever I lose myself in my psets. Yes, I’m upset that the freshmen have nicer housing than I do, but they will peak this semester and then go through the same housing lottery that we all went through. Yes, I am sad that I will never have a room as nice as the one I had in the first semester, but the isolation of that semester is something I never want to live through again. Yes, Harvard housing should be… Better in general for the amount of tuition that we are paying. But at the end of the day, it’s not about whether you have a single or whether there’s a mouse under your bed, it’s about the memories that you make with your time here. :)