Thoughts From Places: Tisch Library

It could be argued that an hour-and-a-half-long wait is not worth it for five minutes of laser tag. But that argument would be both misguided and erroneous. Although the blaring music, the flashing lights and the occasional sniper attacks were riveting aspects of the night, there were more factors to consider.

Dec. 1 marked the fortnight before the start of finals, but this was not a deterrent for the crowds of people wrapped around the Tisch Library entrance. Perhaps as a first-semester student, I am naïve enough to think that now is an appropriate time to start hitting the books. In keeping with that vein, there was a certain charm to the escapist reality of those showing up at the library, for the first time, not to study, but to unwind. Instead of entangling in a GPA face-off, people instead compared their scores on the laser tag guns to see who’s better at avoiding enemy fire. The complex rules that governed chemical reactions, algebraic theorems and conjugation charts were all temporarily forgotten. The game that took place within the rearranged, open floor plan of the library was one that existed for the sole purpose of blowing off steam. Ducking behind inflatable shields and somehow still feeling the vibration of the gun signaling that you have been shot was a far more freeing stress than the one felt while studying. The most anxiety felt that night existed not as one attempted to approach a seemingly impossible problem set, but when the steady red dot fixated on your chest plate, and the ominous buzz of a tagged gun was just seconds away.

Taking a step back, the most remarkable part of the night might not have even come from within the chair-laced boundary of the war zone, or even the confines of the no man’s land. Although standing in line was not as exhilarating, and scarfing down pizza did not elicit an adrenaline rush, there was an overall element of unadvertised glamour. While the Snapchat geofilter was spiffy and the redesign of the library was inviting, it was the constant chatter of relaxed students that gave the night its vibe. Conversations that ranged from attempting to name the potted cacti being given away at the Campus Center to debates with strangers about the potentially feminist Sauron exude different yet equally potent relief as those about a semester’s worth of experiences and life lessons.

During finals season, when an exam grade feels like a determinant for the rest of your life, it is crucial to remember that the most beautiful parts of living are not accompanied by a scantron and a No. 2 pencil. Rather, they are about the moments of laughing with your friends and realizing that Sauron may in fact have been a feminist, or that Igor and Ivan are in fact fantastic names for cacti. That being said, happy finals week, Tufts. You’ve had your fun: now it’s time to hit the books once again.