Ever since I moved to the Hilltop in August of 2021, Harbin Hall, the place I now call home, has had countless issues. But these silly little quirks are what makes Harbin so special to me! I can always count on Harbin to have broken elevators. There’s always a day or so each week when either one or both of the elevators stop working and I have to trek down six flights of stairs to leave the building. I really appreciate this, however, because Harbin knows that I want to exercise more and is providing me with opportunities to do so without even having to go to Yates! One of my personal favorites is the mold in the air vents. One of the best friends that I’ve made so far at Georgetown is the lingering cough I developed mid-September. Because of the mold, I know it will never leave me, and it honestly has been quite comforting having such a loyal friend.
Now for the main Harbin problem: the fire alarms, especially the construction involving the fire alarm system. Georgetown truly outdid itself this semester by deciding to have construction in my cluster the day my roommate and I returned from break. Very convenient, I know. Thank you, Georgetown. So storytime: I had been on campus for about an hour, but could not enter my room because construction workers were fixing the fire alarm system in it and the surrounding rooms. Once the construction workers left, I was finally able to sit down at my desk and eat some food for the first time that afternoon. My suitcases were yet to be unpacked.
Then, the flood. Water begins pouring into my room from every side of my door. The fire alarm sounds. My fight or flight response kicks in. As I stood in my room watching the water pour in, I genuinely thought I shifted into the Titanic universe and Harbin was about to go down. I threw everything I could onto our beds and ran out of the room, getting waterboarded by the water rushing out of the ceiling. I’ve never seen a fire sprinkler go off in a building, but I can tell you that whatever water system was triggered was certainly stronger than a regular sprinkler. Soaked from head to toe, I saw my roommate and friend heading to the stairwell, completely unaware of
the trauma I just went through. I gave them a vivid summary of everything that had just happened as we stood outside Harbin in the below freezing weather, me in drenched sweatpants and a t-shirt.
Anyway, a few hours passed as I frantically called my parents, who I found in a panic, unsure of the situation of the “fire,” not knowing what my Harbin home was going to look like when (and if) my roommate and I returned. When we were allowed to re-enter the building, my roommate and I dreadfully walked into our cluster, immediately getting a whiff of the humid, musty air. As our floor was being water-vacuumed, we tried to scope out the damage that’d been done. Our beds are soaked, water has leaked through my suitcases, and there are puddles on the floor. The worst thing, however, was the damage done to my Harry Styles Fine Line CD booklet. All of my clothes could have been absolutely ripped to shreds and that would have been sad, but still repairable. But the fact that Harbin had the audacity to release a flood into my room and destroy my Harry Styles CD booklet? Unforgivable.
Thank you Georgetown for deciding to do construction the day I returned from a month long break. Definitely the warmest welcome I have ever received in my life.
Lucy Cullen is a freshman in the College studying Biology of Global Health, the Sass co-editor, and is probably being terrorized by the Harbin fire alarm at this very moment.