Last week, I woke up to the 21st century student’s greatest nightmare: a broken computer. Two hours and $300 dollars later, I waved my beloved laptop, Delilah, goodbye as the Purolator whisked it away from me, with a large banner proclaiming “Back to School Time!”. Yup. It sure is.
Everything was definitely not all peachy. I was only a week out of warranty, and classes started on Monday. I had been deprived of my connection to almost everything, but on the bright side, this separation should help me focus on the things I actually need to get done! Like my readings, and setting up my new apartment. Right?
Of course, everything sounds better in theory.
At the beginning it really was okay! I was able to shuffle around having to check things on the computer, or printing my readings out. I was lucky that I usually hand-write notes in class, anyways. But soon enough, I started to fall out of the loop regarding school work and extracurriculars – and it was only the first week!
Things had to change.
Coping Mechanisms When You’re Without a Computer
I think we all realize how important computers are for us – I mean we do spend half our lives (or maybe more…) staring at some form of a screen. For example, the week before, I began to appreciate how useful the internet is (I didn’t get an internet connection into my apartment until a week after I had moved in). But in all honesty, we take the easy access we have to technology for granted as well. I couldn’t do the simplest of things, like typing up a response or checking the date something was due! Information is usually always so readily available, that to be deprived of it is really a challenge.
To cope, I began using my roommate’s computer whenever it was free. But that was a pain in itself, having to constantly ask her for it, and then making sure that she wasn’t just being nice when she said she didn’t need it. Plus, I’m the sort of person who likes to be self-reliant, and constantly borrowing other people’s laptops just wasn’t cutting it.
Next, I switched to heavily abusing the data on my phone. That stopped pretty quickly after I realized I couldn’t download half the things I needed to, and when I considered my mounting cellphone bill.
Finally, I just went to the library.
It felt extremely ironic for me to come to an old fashioned library, just to use a computer. It reminded me of the good ol’ days when I’d go to my community library with my parents, just to play on the computer because the one at home was really slow. But for all the nostalgia, it still didn’t beat the convenience of having your own.
Over the course of the week, I found myself trying to manage my time better, scheduling in “computer time” in between classes and planning out my work to be computer-less when I got home.
All in all, its not as bad as I thought I would be! In the nighttime, I’m actually doing things for myself, like reading or writing in my journal, instead of falling asleep watching TV. And, having to prioritize while on the computer has saved me from countless hours of mindless Youtubing and Googling.
And of course, its given me time to blog about my computer troubles in the library.
All the same, I’ll be glad when I have my Delilah back.
Have you ever had to survive college without a computer?