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Oct 01 2017
by Sarah Diggins

What It Was Like To Spend The First Week of College Without a Cell Phone

By Sarah Diggins - Oct 01 2017

The first week of college is a time in your life like no other. At least, that's what I've been told. You get that first taste of what independence is like and are bombarded with new names, faces, classes and routines.  My first week of college started out as your standard, run-of-the-mill first week. Not terrible, but nothing to write a movie about. By Thursday, I was making friends, finding all of my classes and becoming somewhat at peace with the idea of sharing a bathroom with my entire floor. It was almost all too good to be true. I think someone sensed that. 

I only have two classes on Thursday, between the first and second, I noticed that my phone was acting strange and kept logging me out of my iMessage and other social media accounts. It had been doing the same thing the day before, but after performing a brilliant technology technique, it was as good as new. So naturally, I decided to do the same thing. Except this time, when the white Apple logo screen came on, the screen just went black. I frantically tried over and over again to turn it on until I had to go to class to no avail. 

After my hour and a half long class was over, I tried again. Nothing happened. My RA suggested taking it to the IT desk, and so I ran to the other side of campus. Unfortunately, they didn't do much work on phones and suggested taking it to the closest Apple store in Syracuse. Syracuse is a good hour away from my school, and as I wasn't even sure how I was going to get to the Verizon store ten minutes away. At this point, I was at a loss. All I wanted to do was cry over the phone to my mom about the situation, and that was one of the only things I couldn't do. 

Flash forward to desperate pleas for help in my class's Facebook group, as well as the lounges, kitchen and laundry room of my building. I eventually was able to recruit a girl from my floor to navigate the town's bus system with. After a semi-harrowing journey, we spent a total of thirty seconds in the Verizon store and was told that if I called the number they gave me, my new phone would be shipped out the next day. 

And after a wild series of events and a lot of stress on my parents, I was reconnected by Saturday afternoon. 

I wish I could say that it was a freeing experience, that I lived in the moment and was able to truly enjoy the end of my first week with no distractions, but I can't lie to you. 

It was a stressful experience. It made me realize that we depend on our phones for just about everything. Not just dumb things like social media, but things like directions, keeping in contact with people and even knowing the time. I ended up carrying my Kindle around with me to keep track of the time. I couldn't find any pay phones because everyone has a cell phone.

Being four hours away from home and barely knowing anyone, not having a phone was a scary experience. I felt like I was truly alone and helpless. I had made some friends, but I had stayed in that first Friday night because I had no way of contacting them to make plans. I ended up watching American Psycho in my building's lounge with people I didn't know, and anyone who has seen American Psycho would know that it is quite the movie to watch in such a situation. 

There are worse problems a person can go through, so I'm actually pretty lucky that a broken phone was all that I had to deal with. But when our society is so dependent on them, it's hard to be out of the loop – even if it's just for 48 hours. Of course, it all worked itself out in the end, and I now have a story to tell about how I spent the end of my first week of college. If I learned anything from this, it's that natural selection sure is out to get college students without cell phones. 

Lead Image Credit: Pexels 

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Sarah Diggins - Ithaca College

18, NJ native, freshman at Ithaca College. Ravenclaw with Gryffindor tendencies (so basically she's Luna Lovegood). Avid Family Feud watcher. Catch her on instagram and twitter @thebookofsarah.

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