Every night, Vedant closes his day with a snack: a crisp Granny Smith apple.
The start of this habit escapes his mind — what originally started as a way to get some fruit into his diet has not left his daily ritual. As I was writing this, he made sure to reach out and demonstrate how he cuts the apple into nine sections so that the core is easily removable. Some nights, the apple even comes after he brushes his teeth, the mark of his true loyalty to the bit.
Granny Smith apples are better known from the lens of baking than daily consumption. This particularly tart variety breaks down with heat, offering a more balanced sweetness in pies and crisps. However, the sourness is a stabilizing factor in Vedant’s relationship with the green fruit. “I’ve been too scared to try other ones,” he added.
Vedant has also maintained a particularity about the texture of these apples. In a method he coined the “thumb test,” Vedant would grab an apple and see if he could apply the pressure to pierce through its flesh. The weakest contenders he left bruised on the shelves, but those that survived made it home.
Aside from rituals and tartness, Vedant values efficiency. Before our interview, Vedant added that he likes to be the fastest on the sidewalk. However, no amount of first-week-of-classes running could prepare him for his new commutes. Much like other dining-hall-frequenters, Vedant is disappointed with the quality of produce on this campus — the Granny Smith apples especially fail to reach his standards. Fortunately, for both a physical and financial hike, Vedant was able to get his apple fix at the local Whole Foods — where the cost per pound is a whole dollar more than what he considers average.
After his apple errands almost caused him to be late for class (he actually made it a minute before start time), Vedant knew he had to adapt. Soon, he found himself an hour’s walk from campus for a Craigslist exchange. The ride back only took twenty minutes. With the ease of a bike, Vedant is a champion of the Greater Boston area. His wheels have made their mark at Whole Foods, Target and even Costco. However, Vedant, like many first-years, has been using trial and error to get his way around the city. The T has been the link between him and his high school friends. While the public transportation system has made it easy for the former Houston residents (city, not the dorm) to bounce between one another’s campuses, it has also left them stranded at night. But getting stranded in the city at night is only a right of passage.
Welcome to campus, first-years! Here’s to another year of seeking viable sources of daily vitamins and late-night Ubers until the Green Line opens.