Andrews Problems: Trouble in paradise

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Don’t be fooled. It’s a hellhole.

Andrews residence hall is widely considered to be the best dorm on campus. Since its recent renovation, the name Andrews has become synonymous with beauty and luxury. Many people, especially the Keeney kids, call it “Hotel Andrews.”

But what is life really like in those new and spacious rooms? Are the chandeliers in the Dining Commons real? What demons lurk in the shadows of those walk-in closets? Blog has gained access to my personal journal the journal of an anonymous Andrews resident that gives us a rare glimpse into the struggles of life beyond the veranda.

August 30th

Dear journal,

When I arrived at Brown this morning, I was like so many other starry-eyed freshmen. I was filled with conflicting emotions: Excitement, wonder, a little trepidation. I checked in and was given my key and swipe card. They told me I’d be living in Andrews. “You’ll love it,” they said. “It’s been recently renovated.”

Oh, how naive I was.

As soon as I stepped into my room I knew my life was about to change forever. The comforts of home were gone, my family was about to leave me, I’d be forced to live independently.

But worst of all, the rug I brought was nowhere near large enough to cover the expanse of floor that stretched out before me as free and unbounded as the Great Plains.

September 3rd

Dear journal,

I don’t know how I’ve made it these last few days. Never have I felt so much self-doubt. There’s so much pressure to make friends, choose the right classes, etc. Shopping period has been totally overwhelming.

Today, I got back to my room exhausted and emotionally drained after another day of shopping both classes and friend groups. I wanted to wash my face, but the underwhelming water pressure in my personal sink was the last straw. I just broke down and sobbed.

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And don’t even get me STARTED on the Porsche that’s always in my parking spot.

September 7th 

Dear journal,

Today was a bad day. That’s why I’m using so many periods. I do this. When I’m sad. And want to import a sense of gravity. Into my writing.

The weather was beautiful today, but the bright sunshine only made my room on the Zero floor feel darker. I went out to the veranda to study, thinking that the sunshine might do me some good. I was in for a terrible surprise.

I sat down in one of the chairs on the veranda. To my horror, the chair was A LOT less ergonomic than it looked!!!! I can’t say exactly what happened next, I was in such a rage. I remember throwing something, possibly the chair, and people screaming.

Is Andrews driving me crazy? It might be.

September 9

Dear journal,

I’ve had some time to calm down since the chair incident. I’ve been trying to refocus my life and concentrate on my studies. Easier said than done when your dorm windows are so big it’s distracting.

September 14th 

Dear journal,

Today was really hot. I tried studying in my room, but it was so hot that I kept having to get up and cool my face in my personal sink. I desperately wanted a cool, sugary drink, but Andrews is pretty far from the Del’s lemonade stand, so I just stayed home.

September 20th 

Dear journal,

Today was a disaster. I went into my walk-in closet to get a shirt. Next thing I knew, I couldn’t find my way out. I was trapped. Remembering a documentary about spelunkers lost in a cave, I tried to remain calm and focused on my breathing. I called DPS, and waited. There was a half-full water bottle and a box of Mallomars in the closet. The supplies could last me a week, if I rationed them. Sometime later (minutes? hours? days?) DPS rescued me, with the help of an avalanche search dog.

After that, even the underwhelming water pressure was a welcome sight.

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We’re not even allowed to use the fireplace without supervision. Guess Andrews is still in the Dark Ages.

September 22nd

Dear journal,

I’m done waxing philosophical about perspective. All the perspective in the world isn’t worth shit when someone on the upper floors has been practicing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D Major all day. Did I not put posters on all the doors kindly explaining that I can only listen to Schubert!?!

Describing Andrews as a “dormitory” is too flattering. More like a prison. Or a lemur factory.

September 26th

Dear journal,

It’s my birthday, so happy birthday to me, I guess. I celebrated my special day in typical Andrews fashion. That is, going to the bottom of a staircase that leads to fucking nowhere and crying into my made-to-order panini (turkey and gouda, roasted veggies, avocado aioli, no mushrooms).

October 3rd 

Dear Journal,

Sometimes I feel like you’re my only friend. The Asian stir-fry station in Andrews Dining Commons certainly isn’t my friend. It closes at midnight while the pizza station stays open till two a.m. How then, pray tell, do I satisfy my violent nocturnal cravings for curried tofu and soba noodles?

October 8th 

Dear journal,

A Haiku:

October is young 

Seven more months in Andrews?

Oh God oh God no. 

 

Images via Ari Snider.

Mitchell Johnson ’18 contributed ideas for this post.

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