Move Out is almost like a dirty word on campus. No one really likes to talk about moving/schlepping their queen-sized bed down 4 flights of stairs to storage. Few enjoy the awkward goodbye-acquaintance hugs? handshakes? (But thank god, no one asks, where are you going to be this summer? [That question was long hashed out two-three months ago, leading more people to know where you're going to be rather than where you are from.])
So what is Move Out actually like?
1) End of finals/food.
Harvard being particularly clever and sympathetic to student needs closed dining halls this Friday at 2pm. The last final for the semester was held at 2:15pm (the wonders of being pre-med and in orgo). This means, all those hungry pre-meds emerging bleary-eyed from their exam at about 5:30 had to go scramble for their wallets for a celebratory (cheap) dinner.
2) Feeling sorry for the freshmen.
Whereas, as an upperclassmen, you can generally store 4-ish boxes and a piece of furniture in the same house you’re living in. As a freshmen, you need to store your stuff in the house you will be living in. This makes sense.
However, it seems like ALL the freshmen procrastinate, leading to five-hour long waitlists for the dollies the last two days before storage closes.
Then, you have the freshmen who are moving to the quad. While there is a shuttle, you either have to enlist 5 of your non-quadded closest friends or make multiple trips while perhaps worrying about your last final.
The PBHA donation box no longer remains a box, but rather transforms into an amorphous region on the sidewalk where you can spy many a tossed coffee table, chair, course pack, fridge.
The good news is that many of these donated items will make a reappearance in the fall. However, some donated items — sketchy looking mattress pads — probably won’t.
Then there are all the items you just are forced to toss: remnants of baking goods, cleaning supplies, food, knickknacks from HUHS (including never-used fold-out frisbees!).
4) Poster gum.
Harvard, being Harvard, and ever concerned about the state of its walls, guilts everyone into using poster gum. Poster gum, which I’ve never had the delight of coming across prior to coming to this crazy place, is a white sticky substance that one uses to somewhat adhere posters/papers to walls.
Poster gum doesn’t work. My Fight Club poster kept flopping off in Stoughton. In Lev towers, my Fight Club poster continued its well-practiced habit. However, the painted cinder-block walls of the towers (why are we concerned about the state of these walls that we’re forced to use poster gum?) caused my Dali poster to sliiiiide about an inch or two down the wall.
But this is all fine and dandy, except when you need to spend about 20 minutes picking off the silly white putty from the crevices of your cinder-block walls. Keep in mind that 20 minutes is the recommended amount of parking time during Move Out season.
5) Saying goodbye.
This, of course, is the emotionally trying part of moving out — saying goodbye to roommates and friends for about 3.5 months (unless you’re fortunate enough to be rooming with them during your summer term).
And, of course, saying goodbye to someone for 8 months since she’s bouncing out to France ASAP in September is also rather tres triste.
While you may not be studying abroad, you’ll most likely be affected by the temporary (and sometimes surprise) disappearance of those who are.