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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

The crash of the computer

Published: May 3, 2010
Section: Opinions

Computers have taken over college students’ lives. Everything we need academically involves computers. We need Microsoft Word to write our papers. We need the Internet to access online reading. And we need e-mail in order to receive updates from our teachers and to communicate with our peers. This is why not having a computer in college is a major obstacle.

Before this semester, I would not have believed that I could survive without my laptop. I compulsively check my e-mail 20 times per day, watch my favorite shows on Hulu and sing along to the music flowing out of my speakers. I need my computer.

My computer, however, has crashed twice this semester. The first time, it got a virus right before midterms. I had two papers to write and I was, therefore, a wreck. But I quickly discovered all the best places that house university computers and I made it through. It was a week before Library and Technology Services (LTS) returned my computer to me, fixed though not good-as-new.

At first, that week was torture. I felt disconnected. By the end though, I was relieved. It was liberating not to be in constant contact with my friends and family. As much as I love them, I do not need constant updates. Also, I got a lot of work done. I had thought it would be impossible to do any work without my computer but it was the opposite. Without the distractions of the Internet, I attacked my work with zeal, completing assignments ahead of time just to stave off boredom.

Despite these unexpected perks though, I was glad to get my computer back. No time elapsed before I fell back into my old ways of checking B-mail every time I opened the Internet. As nice as the break was, I didn’t want to lose my computer again.

But I did. Wednesday morning my computer would not turn on. Rather than panic, I calmly packed it up and went to LTS. A few hours later it informed me that fixing my computer would cost approximately $300. I have had my computer since eighth grade. It is old. It is not worth $300.

My father and I made the decision not to get it fixed. The day it broke, I was vacillating between utter panic that left me in tears and relief that now my father had to buy me a new computer in the summer.

Now, I’ve just accepted it. Although not having a computer will be inconvenient this weekend as I write a paper on William Shakespeare and write a play in Latin, I look forward to the vacation from overbearing technology for the next three weeks.