The end of the school year brings finals, stress, fun, and a change of living arrangements for dorm dwellers. All of that change means celebrations and, of course, the inevitable moves. We helped Emma and Jake move out of their dorms and into….well, into nowhere for the moment.
There is this strange phenomenon known only to dorm dwellers called “the dorm gap”. You are expected to pack up and move your belongings out of your dorm room. You participate in this activity while trying to complete all of your final testing – since policy requires you to be out of there within 24 hours of completing your last final or, at the latest, by Saturday – May 19th. College students are super humans. How do they study for tests, write papers, take final exams, say goodbye to friends for the summer, pack up everything they own (which often means inadvertently packing up that book or journal article you really needed for your end-of-year essay), catch up on laundry, wrap up final arrangements for your internship which includes a physical, and sleep all at the same time?
To complicate things a bit, the colleges will typically provide summer housing if needed; but not in the same room you’ve been living in all year and definitely not without a gap. This year, the gap is roughly a week. Emma won’t have summer housing available until the end of May and Jake’s housing is available next Tuesday. This is where life gets creative for an undergrad. Refrigerators, boxes, books, bedding, clothes, food, decorations, etc. have to find a place to dwell during the gap. Solutions are both creative and imaginative and you should be impressed with their mad problem solving skills and tenacious ability to get everything accomplished. Schools should really give credit hours for this.
They found foster homes for some of their belongings in New York, stashed some of their belongings (some temporarily and some permanently) with us, and are now trying to catch up on some sleep.
We spent the last two days moving them. Our lives have been filled with blue bins (used for moving your stuff out of your dorm and for covert rides), Thai food, Swedish Fish, cookies, M&Ms, Thai Food, trail mix (Thanks to Jake’s mom), and gum. No nutritious meals, no chelating (except for when eating Thai food), and no cupcakes! We kept missing Crumbs cupcakes!
Friday, we packed up Jake’s belongings, went for Thai food in New York, headed to Crumbs – and they were closed for the evening. Abject disappointment!!! We headed to Connecticut, slept for 6 hours, and headed back to New York to do it all again; this time for Emma’s belongings. We went early to avoid the crowds and heat. The room was emptied, the car was trapped by a delivery truck (who double parks in New York? Just. Everyone.), we took a stroll to check out housing locations for both the summer and the next school year, gleefully found ourselves at Crumbs (no accident) – and they were still closed. I had my face pressed against the glass woefully staring at the help who adroitly avoided my mournful gaze. We left – fearing they would call the cops on the cupcake stalkers. We took Jake to New Haven to get a haircut, ate more Thai food in Connecticut, rushed Brooke to meet her friends so they could celebrate the end of Law School Year 1 (Woohoo!!!), and collapsed into bed at an ungodly hour (except Emma, who inadvertently passed out on the couch at 8 p.m.) as consolation. And now we have unpacked most items, laundered several items, and slept the sleep of the dead. We don’t even dare step on our scales to see what damage we have wrought. We can do that tomorrow.
Today? We’re taking it easy. No Thai food since that happened four times last week. We are going to enjoy a home cooked meal, watch Drop Dead Fred, and a few hours of simple laundry and trying to fit everything that has to stay here in inconspicuous places while refilling the car’s trunk with what must inevitably return to New York (no, not the kids – just their stuff) and catching up. Later this evening, we return Jake (and one small bag of his belongings) to New York so he can start his summer job at Sullivan & Cromwell on Monday. He is sleeping on the couch of a friend until his place is available on Tuesday afternoon. We can’t imagine starting a new job at a large firm with our belongings spread between two states and dwelling in the dorm gap. We imagine this will add to the stress of his first day on the job, but are confident he’ll be fine: he’ll be arriving at work with his favorite Crumbs cupcake for lunch. Ahhh college life.