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The eternal search for Wi-Fi

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SEPTEMBER 01, 2015

“But it’s a university,” my father groaned into the phone exasperatedly. “The Wi-Fi is supposed to be excellent!”

On the other end of the line, I sighed. Over the course of the past two days, my father, the brilliant engi-nerd and my go-to tech support guy, had gotten multiple frantic calls from me about the defective state of my Internet connection. You see, just before loading up the SUV and driving back to Berkeley for another school year, my trooper of a laptop finally gave out and hummed its last mechanical tune. This steely beast had rambled on through drops, spills and a hard drive crash, while I pushed the prepaid warranty to the absolute maximum. So I did the only thing I could and made a quick pit stop at Costco on the drive back to school, hastily purchasing for myself another laptop.

Only after I had arrived at my apartment, unpacked my bags and settled into my plushy desk chair with my new laptop, ready to Wi-Fi my heart out, did the realization dawn on me: our Wi-Fi was out. This news settled in slowly at first, and then crashed over me all at once. How was I supposed to access my email, social media and most importantly, Telebears? From where would I download Microsoft Office? I frantically got to work, resetting and restarting the router a countless number of times before getting on the phone with my network provider, which promptly told me that I would be sent a new one — in one to two business days!

After many prolonged periods of stress and impatience, I began to settle into my new Wi-Fi-less reality, brainstorming methods in which I could survive without the necessity that is a steady Internet connection. My first thought was to head to campus, which is where I ended up back on the phone with my father, the tech wizard. “I’ve tried three different spots on campus and in each place, Airbears is showing up as limited,” I whined.

“Did you try the second network?” he asked. “Airbears2?”

“Yes!” I continued whining, growing impatient with the spotty reception and Wi-Fi.

After a few more minutes of desperate whining, my father had convinced me to return to the place to which I had vowed to never willingly return: the dorms. I braced myself for the inevitable brush with large mobs of freshmen who still hadn’t gotten comfortable being alone with themselves. On my walk up to Unit 1, I passed many of these tell-tale mobs, heading in mass to dinner at the trusty Crossroads dining hall. I reached the outdoor seating area and settled down with my laptop, only to find that the Wi-Fi connection, RESCOMP, was unavailable as well. As I would soon learn, the network had been nixed and replaced with our buddy Airbears.

At this point, my frustration had reached scalding levels. I decided to grab a cup of coffee to settle my nerves when a lovely thought came to mind. “Maybe Caffe Strada will have reliable Wi-Fi.”

Contact Sravya Singampalli at [email protected].

SEPTEMBER 01, 2015