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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, April 20, 2024

A Jumbo’s Journey: A day which will live in infamy — lotto numbers

A Jumbo's Journey.png
Graphic by Rachel Wong

The infamous housing lottery numbers: They can tear apart friendships, induce murderous plots and force students to contemplate transferring. For months, the first-year class has heard rumors and stories about these numbers. And, of course, we’ve heard about the laudable 10-person Latin Way suite. Wow. Even after numbers have dropped, I still get butterflies whenever someone mentions Latin Way.

Now, I hate to disappoint readers, but unfortunately I can not divulge my rooming situation next year; it is still very tentative whether I end up sleeping in Sunil Kumar’s house or having to room in the mail room. You may be asking, “well, what are you going to yap about this time then?” Today, I plan on writing about my friend’s situation because it is ridiculous. Below is their story, from their perspective, as accurately as they told me (instead of imagining me writing this, think of your campus crush or the weirdo sitting next to you in that one humanities class writing this).

The first email was sent out in October. Like, isn’t that crazy? We didn’t even have our first midterm before they were like “oh yeah, start thinking about housing next year.” To be fair, the form was pretty much just asking your bedtime and how stinky you are. But still, October is crazy. And, that is when the idea of a Latin suite was ‘inceptioned’ into all of our minds.  

The numbers came out on Feb. 9. I had just walked into my room when I got the email around 1:12 p.m. Immediately I checked my number and, when I saw it, I fell to my knees. It was over. 2,859. Chat, I’m cooked. As I laid there solemnly, Olivia Rodrigo’s “traitor” slowly started playing. I profoundly connected with Olivia and her lyrics: “You betrayed me/ And I know that you’ll never feel sorry/ For the way I hurt.”

My next class was terrible. I thousand-yard stared at the chalkboard as my professor had their biweekly waffling session. The voices flooded my mind: Am I going to be homeless? Will I be forced into a triple? Is it time to try Brown again? My phone would buzz intermittently throughout class with my friends’ numbers: 2,456; 1,500; 1,925; 2,161. This was not a moment I could just womp away.

I slowly sauntered my way back to my dorm. Will I go from a literal trailer to a dumpster? My roommate, who somehow never leaves the room, got a generous number in the 1,200’s. I asked them about their situation out of desperation; at this point, I would be able to forgo their mysterious smells and sporadic grunts. “I don’t know if my number is good enough, but I’ll try to get a single.” I didn’t respond. Every ounce of me was in pain.

I laid in my bed, too emotional to even cry. But then, as I laid, I got a call. I picked up and my friend told me to meet them outside. As I walked outside, I saw them standing, staring into the sunset. I walked up to them and they turned around with a tear in their eye. “I read it wrong,” they told me as they turned on their phone. Just as I did an hour ago, I dropped to my knees. 1,005. War was over. I am going to Latin.

Isn’t that crazy? End of story. So lucky. This whole process is just terrible. A monstrosity. Someone told me that these numbers are designed to break up first-year friend groups. And, while I can see that, this process definitely shouldn’t break up friendships. To be honest, if your friendship is solely reliant on housing, then it isn’t a real friendship. This whole process should be seen more as a friendship test if anything.

In the end, no matter if you are going to Latin Way or going to be in a forced triple closer to Harvard than the Joyce Cummings Center, it shouldn’t affect your social life. At least we will get housing (idk about those in the 2,900s).

Good luck as these lottery numbers continue to tear us apart. As for my housing, Sunil  you know how to reach me…