To acquire wisdom, one must observe

Hoot Recommends: dorm pastimes

Hello and welcome back to “Hoot Recommends,” where members of The Brandeis Hoot’s editorial board share our thoughts on different topics. This week, members of our board will be sharing how they pass time in their dorms!


My friends and I have recently stumbled upon a game called “MageQuit,” a fun wizard-and-magic-filled-battle-to-the-death party game. We have all become obsessed with it quickly. The game is a lot of fun, so whenever I can be peeled away from playing Magic: The Gathering it’s to play MageQuit.


When not doing “necessary” things such as homework, sleeping, laundry, cleaning or having late night 3 a.m. talks with friends and roommates, I prefer to spend time in my room listening to music and curating playlists. In recent years, I’ve gotten far more into music than I ever have been before. In high school, the extent of expanding my music tastes was listening to the cast recording of whatever that year’s spring musical was. As I got to college and grew my life experiences and friend group, so too has my need grown for main character moments, all of which require their own appropriate soundtrack and/or mood music. Not only do I particularly enjoy coming up with silly playlist titles and finding equally silly cover art for them, but I also really like finding new songs and artists that I’ve never listened to, particularly when they speak to my specific feelings on a given subject or occasion. I will do this for any situation, including but not limited to: late night rainy car drives featuring deep talks with a friend, a roadtrip to Hershey Park, what it feels like to be at the beach, songs to cry to, songs that help me feel most like myself when bouncing back from a sad day and songs to help me get in the mindset of particular characters I play when I’ve been in plays. If you’re an avid music connoisseur, it could be a fun challenge to set a specific mood with a playlist, or if you’re not, it’s a great way to branch out and search for new tunes. An artist or song you’ve never heard before could easily become a new favorite.


Your dorm room is the perfect place for an impromptu dance party. It is a small enough space that you can comfortably use your phone as your speaker without any sound echoing against the walls. Sometimes, you just need to come back from classes, throw your backpack on the ground, and put on a funky Spotify playlist. 


There is a reason why the only articles I write for this paper are about movies and TV shows. When I am not doing homework or seeing friends, I watch movies and TV shows. They are not only how I decompress after a long day—they accompany all of my meals, count the time between classes, and fill up my and my roommates’ evenings. Plus, attempting to watch through a constantly refilled to-watch list is a challenge that will last far longer than college. I started the year with 300 movies on the list, I have now watched nearly 100 movies and the list is only down to 282.


As is probably the case for most people, I like to have something to watch when I unwind. However, the problem can sometimes lie in what I want to watch. Making a decision is not a strong suit for me so picking a program can be difficult. Fortunately, I have found a way to avoid that decision. One thing to know about me is that I am a big fan of “Degrassi: The Next Generation.” Yep, that Canadian teen drama where stars like Drake and Nina Dobrev got their start. I’m not that into the earlier seasons, but I love the mid-to-late seasons. On the website PlutoTV, there is a 24-hour Degrassi channel that I am often checking in on. The commercials get annoying, but it is fun to check in on which episodes they are up to. Has Manny been kicked out of her house for trying to buy breast implants? Has Peter gone through his weekend-long meth addiction? Has Eli crashed his hearse into a wall for love? Have Drew and Bianca attempted their Las Vegas elopement? I can guess, but I never know what point I am up to. All I need is an even half hour to watch a (hopefully) exciting episode. Some episodes are missing (I’ll miss you, season 12 finale), but there is still a great amount to get through. I would say the run through of the channels lasts maybe five-ish days, but I could be wrong. So that is my main recommendation on how to pass some time. What do I do when not watching “Degrassi: The Next Generation”? Tetris. I feed my Tetris addiction. It gets the brain active after it turns into Degrassi mush. Variety is key when passing the time, so both of these should lead to a nice break.


Time in my dorm tends to be spent on my phone, scrolling through TikToks as a way to stave off the looming assignments I know need to be done. However, when I find myself longing for something creative and fulfilling to do, I tend to pick up one of my many story ideas. If I’m not in the mood to actually write anything, I focus on developing the worldbuilding aspects of the story, as well as the various characters within it. Figuring out how they fit into the world, the various relationships between them all and their individual backstories and goals within the story is a ton of fun, and is a great way to feel productive without doing homework. And if that feels like too much, then I focus on figuring out visual designs within the story—university logos, restaurant signs, emblems for kingdoms and even the various clothing designs for the characters. It’s a nice way to feel productive working on the story without having to get words down on a page!


Two words: STEAM GAMES. I don’t own many of them, but I have wasted countless hours of my life on the ones that I do own. Especially with the most infamous “bro just one more turn please bro” game, “Civ 6.” Once I start playing “Civ 6” there is no guarantee that I will stop in time for bed/class. Because either a). The builder that I desperately need to build mines for my two-population colony is just a few turns away from being built, b). The apostles that I spammed and spent all of my faith on are getting their asses beat and my gurus won’t reach them for ANOTHER few turns and c). the Forbidden City is almost built and I can just wait till that finishes to stop playing, right? Right? And then before you know it, it’s 2 a.m. and you feel like death. “Civ 6”: truly one of the games of all time.

P.S. don’t even get me started on Paradox games. I truly fear for my GPA and my social life once “Cities Skylines II” drops on Oct. 24. Have mercy.


With the miniscule amount of time that I have to spend in my room alone throughout the day, I make sure to use it wisely. By wisely, I mean scrolling aimlessly on Instagram Reels until my brain rots. No but actually, I try to use this time to catch up with people I haven’t seen or talked to in a while. This could be my parents, grandparents, or friends from home. Maybe this is due to my crippling fear of being alone, but I like to think it’s a nice gesture. Other than that, this is a lame question because what Brandeis student ever has time to themselves? 


I live in Mods, which is a house-style dorm with a lot of open spaces including a kitchen, a living room and a backyard. As someone who barely stays in the dorm room, I always stay in the common space. And I am a very chatty person. This means whenever someone comes downstairs for food or water, I start talking nonstop with them. So time would pass really fast and I would never think of a moment when I just have to “kill time”. Plus, Mods is a 21+ dorm—and we have a liquor cabinet—so there’s not a single dull moment here.


While I am not usually in my Mod during the day, I enjoy having chaotic and unhinged conversations with my lovely roommates, who are also my dearest friends. Due to our schedules, we are like ships passing in the night, so I always cherish time catching up with them. One night, we decided we were going to learn how to do a pistol squat with absolutely zero training or any inherent abilities. Another time, we went on a late night walk to examine whether the Ziv rats were out and about. Last night, we discussed whether a particular baked good one of our roommates made was a cookie or a cake. It was ambiguous, but yummy.


Eating Skippy peanut butter out of the jar with a spoon. Gotta get my protein one way or another!

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