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OP-ED: The People in the High Rise Across From You Have Much More Fun and Interesting Lives

Credit: Carey Salvin

Nothing at the University of Pennsylvania is admired in quite the same fashion as the High Rises. They are spectacles of architectural wonder – filled to the brim with revolutionary concepts and groundbreaking technology. 

Personally, I could not be happier with my one-bedroom double in Harrison College House. Every day, the elevator ride seems to get shorter and shorter and my hallway smells better and better (it smelled like freshly baked cookies today – yum!). The kitchen is spacious and the A/C couldn’t work better!

There is one thing I would change. And that is the overwhelming feeling of inferiority and failure I feel whenever I look across the vast expanse over to Rodin College House.

Yes, I will admit that these buildings are practically exactly the same. But somehow each and every Rodin resident has an infinitely more exciting and satisfying life than I do. Every Saturday at 10pm when I tuck myself into bed, I see groups of friends laughing in their massive living rooms lit by color-changing LED lights. 

How did they fit a 65-inch TV in their room? Why are their fairy lights so cute when mine only look like I was trying too hard? How do they have time to meal prep every single week? I ask myself these questions every time I look over there, but I can never come up with any answers. They are just so much better and cooler than me. 

I don’t understand how it happened. I used to be so happy with my life – I had friends I enjoyed spending time with, a healthy relationship with my parents, and unlimited dining swipes to use at my favorite restaurants like 1920 Commons

But it all changed when I moved to Harrison. All I can think about is how I wish I lived in Rodin. If I lived in Rodin I would save so much money by cooking in my room (I have a kitchen in Harrison). If I lived in Rodin I wouldn’t have to walk up the stairs to my 15th floor apartment (I don’t walk up the stairs now). If I lived in Rodin… I would be happy. 

Is this really my destiny? All because I got a sucky time slot at the end of freshman year? There’s nothing I can do now except feel sorry for myself and cry every time I have to wait 5 minutes for the elevator to pick me up.