Lap of LuxuryPosted: November 2, 2009
Panoramic views, granite sinks, walk-in closets, media rooms, and plush furnishings. A penthouse suite at Trump Tower? A luxury condo in the Caymans? Nope. It’s a dorm room at Boston University. According to an article in the Boston Globe students arriving in September encountered name tags with “Skyview from the Center of the BUniverse” taped to their doors. Is it too late to become redshirt freshman for a year?
Maybe I’m just a bitter and jealous old man but that stings. I entered Tufts University in the midst of a housing crunch in the late 1980’s. The upshot was three freshmen crammed into a small room for two. My roommates and I made the best of it. Actually we had a great year. Sure, we had a few bumps along the way (smelly laundry, girlfriends who wouldn’t leave, etc). But that’s what freshman year was all about. Living into a newfound sense of freedom, making some mistakes, drinking too much, and learning to get along with others at close quarters. While sharing a bathroom with 15 other guys, having no control over the thermostat, and living in a veritable prison cell.
The reality is that colleges now have to compete for the best students by one-upping one another on student amenities. So they have on-campus coffee bars, gourmet dining halls, and state of the art workout facilities. We had tater tots and frisbee.
But I won’t rail against coddled kids and Little Lord Fauntleroys. I would have loved the same treatment. But I also wouldn’t trade my Tufts experience for anything. We made the best of it, had no idea what future luxury we’d be missing, and developed a lot of character through the process.
Thanks to my roommates Steve Bleckner from Summit, New Jersey and Michael Jackson from Belmont, Massachusetts for making it a great first year at Tufts. We’ve gone our separate ways over the years but recently reconnected through Facebook. Perhaps for our 25th reunion we’ll jam ourselves into a 12×14 room with a case of cheap beer and do some serious reminiscing.