Surviving Without a Working Laptop

The past two weeks have been two of the hardest this semester for me. Two weeks ago, I tried to update my MacBook laptop to OS X El Capitan (who the hell names these things?), and, lo and behold, my laptop crashed. My obsession with updating (apps, software, my Wunderlist — you name it) had gotten the best of me, and I killed my laptop during the peak of midterms. Taking the two hours to update my computer may or may not have been a procrastination tool veiled by my brain telling me that the update would make my life so much easier, but, in the end, it was unintentional self-sabotage. What makes matters even worse is that when I went to Tufts Technology Services the day after (more like three days after — no one’s perfect), they told me that they “weren’t taking laptops at this time.” I’m guessing a bunch of people were seduced into updating their computers and failed miserably. Also, apparently the whole Time Machine backup thing needs to be turned on before you use it. How was I supposed to know that? It’s not like anyone actually reads the manuals when they buy electronics. Finding the time to go to the Apple Store during the week is nearly impossible, and I figured that I could use the desktop computers available in the libraries and Eaton Hall. I told myself that I would make an appointment with the Genius Bar tomorrow…and I continued to tell myself that for the past two weeks. So, here I am, at an Eaton computer, missing my laptop covered in stickers and continuing to procrastinate getting myself to the Apple Store.

Living without a laptop while in college is one of the most difficult things to deal with. I do everything on my laptop: Netflix, homework, Skyping, Buzzfeed quizzes, text messaging my friend (bless you, OS X Yosemite), and even calling my parents. I’d much rather message my friends and family using my laptop because I can type 5 times faster than on my phone. Also, when I get cold, my laptop warms up my lap. But now, I’m restricted to just my phone, which has begun to lose battery even faster than before. I have to always carry around a charger. The other day, I was meeting Rachel in Tisch, but my phone had died and, without a laptop, I was forced to hop onto a Tisch computer and Facebook message her. She responded. An. Hour. Later. If I had been able to pull out my laptop and text her using iMessage, there’s no doubt I would have gotten a quicker response because everyone’s glued to their phones.
**Rachel would like to clarify this situation. She is currently in a group chat on Facebook with about 5 people she kinda knows?? Like friends of friends of friends? Anyway, she doesn’t read those messages because she’s not even Facebook friends with some of the people. So, when Rachel received that FB notification, she assumed it was from someone she didn’t know and avoided social contact. Okay back to the scheduled programming.

My life has revolved around the working hours of Tisch, Eaton, and Ginn. I spend the majority of my hours on campus in one of these places, desperate for a computer to use so that I can finish all my work. I’ve gotten into a bit of a routine, actually. Every computer I log onto, I begin by downloading AdBlock, a Google Chrome extension, so that I can use Spotify Web Player without listening to ads (#protip). Then, I stay there as long as I can. Luckily, Eaton is open until 4am, and I have stayed until closing many times. In between classes, I stop by Tisch, Ginn, and Eaton to get small chunks of work done. Possibly the worst part about not having a laptop is that I can’t really get any work done in Dewick and Carm, which are the best study spots since they are equipped with unlimited coffee and carbs. Now, I limit my lunch and dinner breaks to 30 minutes, so that I can get back to a working computer; before this unfortunate incident, I would spend up to six hours at the dining halls.

To be honest, though, breaking my laptop has actually had some benefits. Before, I would leave campus as soon as I was done with classes and rehearsals, get home between 7 and midnight, try to do work on my bed and promptly fall asleep after swearing that I was “just taking a short nap” or “resting my eyes.” Now, I go home only to go to bed or to do that reading that doesn’t require extensive note-taking. All my notes for my classes are on Google Drive which, when I have a laptop, is great because #goorganization, but when I don’t, is extremely inconvenient. Now, I maximize my efficiency (most of the time) while doing work, because I know the libraries have a closing time, renting out laptops from Tisch has a four-hour limit, and I can only stay in Eaton for five hours before completely losing it. Living without a laptop has forced me to plan out my days hour by hour so that I know I’ll get all my important work done. Yes, my life has been temporarily very restrictive, but at the same time…You, know, I was going to try and think of another positive to this situation, but I’m coming up blank. I have been in Eaton so often that one of my friends, after bumping into me there for the third time that day, asked me very seriously whether or not I had a home to go to.

Please don’t upgrade to OS X El Capitan unless you’re prepared to live a hellish (and stressful) life for the weeks it takes to set up an Apple Genius appointment or for Tufts Technology Services to finally start taking laptops again (quit playing games with my heart, TTS). Also, turn on Time Machine because future you will thank you. Also, come visit me in Eaton and bring snacks. Please. I’m desperate for love and human connection.

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