Dorm life – the quintessential college experience. Living shoulder-to-shoulder with hundreds of other students. Living within five minutes of all your friends. Sounds like a great deal, right? Tons of fun. What could be bad about it?

Until one week ago, I would have told you nothing. Now, however, I sing a different song. There are two things horribly amiss with dorm life – pests and laundry.

Now, when I say pests, I do not mean annoying roommates or the people downstairs that scream at four in the morning. No, I mean furry little rodents.

Nothing makes you feel more vulnerable than hearing little feet scurrying by your bed in the wee hours of the morning. Nothing except walking into your spotlessly clean room after spring break to find a dead mouse in your trash can. A mouse that fell off your bed into your trash can and starved to death. A mouse that could have easily been crawling on you while you slept.

Not only do the mice make for a sleepless night, but they also make for a very exhausting day.

It works the same way every time. One of us will walk into a room and see a dead mouse in the trap. The initial reaction is to let out a bloodcurdling scream and then run into the hall yelling, “I got one, I got one!” Of course, the rest of us have to go in and check also. What follows is a five-minute chorus of ear-piercing screams that can be heard throughout campus.

Disposal comes next. This is probably more traumatizing than the actual viewing because someone or something has to move the carcass. This is at least a 20-minute procedure complete with small screams, lots of standing on chairs and a ceremonial walk to the trash chute. All in all, viewing, disposal and cool down, is a 45-minute procedure. Multiply that by three times a day plus false sightings and you have a lot of wasted time.

What only other dorm activity wastes just as much time? Laundry.

You know the usual complaints – there are not enough machines, the dryers take too long, people take your wet clothes out of the dryer.I have one more for that list. Someone stole all my underwear. Some sick, twisted, emotionally disturbed individual took the time to sift through the dryer and take out every single piece of underwear plus my favorite tank tops and a favorite dress. WTF?

I do have to say thank you for leaving my socks and jeans and most of my shirts. How thoughtful. This truly must have been a labor of love.As much as I appreciate not having all my clothes stolen and as much as I realize this is going to be really funny later, I am still intensely irritated. I really liked my clothes and I feel violated that someone touched my underwear and I am angry that I could not play basketball or go to the gym because I did not have any sports bras.

So now I have two goals. One, I am determined to find out who stole my underwear. Two, I want to rid the university of its rodent problem.

Until my goals are accomplished, I will be forced to lie through many sleepless nights and go commando through many exhausting days.

Haber can be reached at

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