It has been a week since I moved out of the Castle and into my Ziv, and with all of these changes I could not help but reflect on my time in the Castle—the edifice that will be torn down and replaced, the monumental Brandeisian structure that will forever remain in history instead of before our eyes.
For the first two years of college I commuted back and forth, since I live in a town near Waltham. That all changed rather suddenly this past summer, the summer before my junior year, when I realized that my schedule was packed beyond words and it would be more convenient for me to live on campus. A lot of people complain about DCL, and within the context of their specific scenarios it is understandable why they do. But I must say, I was incredibly lucky. When Sarah Hogan-Crowley heard about the details of my situation, she treated me with kindness and put me into a room in the Castle, A204, a number I will never forget.
Living in A204 was an adventure, though of course there were ups and downs. One of the ups was that I finally felt like an actual college student! It was amusing to me that it was during my first semester of my junior year that I experienced the life of a first year—although not quite because I had had all the advantages of having friends and knowing my way around campus ahead of time. The first time that a couple of friends and I explored the Castle, I had imagined that we would come across secret pathways, or that we would find the Graffiti room. Unfortunately after climbing many stairs and going through winding narrow hallways, we just encountered dorm rooms. Due to a lack of patience on my part we never even made it to the Graffiti room.
The downs? Well, every now and then my hall got a wonderful visit from a little brown mouse. In the quietest hours of the night, there it would be, gnawing away on whatever it was that it found to be mouse food. Then of course there were times when the person living on the floor above me would move and chips of plaster from the ceiling would crumble onto my bed which was directly below. As mainly sophomores lived in the Castle, I was a little bit isolated from my friends, who mainly lived in Ziv. But even though I had a hard time walking to my friends’ apartments in Ziv, the Castle was a convenient location when it came to walking to classes. The monstrous Rabb steps did not feel so daunting when I walked from the Castle. But walking from Ziv now … at least it is some form of a workout, right?
I will never forget my time in the Castle because like all the firsts we have in our lives, that was one of my most important firsts. It was technically my first time living away from home, my first shot at some independence and my first time learning to be with people outside of the few hours in lectures. Surprisingly, and as cliched as this may seem, I also grew up a little more during what was the beginning of my time on campus. It is the kind of growing up that I hope to continue to do—though it won’t be in my room up in A-tower.
Farewell my Castle, you will be missed and remembered by all who had the good fortune of knowing you.