Every time I find a seat and unpack my belongings — namely my laptop — in the Hatcher Graduate Library Reference Room, I can’t help but notice that I have the only Dell in a sea of Macs. I don’t have a lit up apple to proudly display as I’m hard at work. My computer is significantly less sleek and I can never don a cool case that fits my larger, heavier PC. It suddenly feels — for a split second — that I am in high school again. The odd man out whose mother packs her a hearty roast beef sandwich while the rest of the lunchroom sneers with their delicate cheese on white bread. In almost every meeting, every classroom, every table, my Dell is the only thing that separates me from the rest of the group.

Growing up with a “techie” father who endorsed only PCs — so much so that when I was 10 years old he had me take apart a computer and put it back together again — I have never grown accustomed to Apple products. You’ll never see me with an iPhone or iPad or MacBook, and I’ll never understand how to even open Safari, let alone use it. My life as a student revolves around a dark navy blue, basic yet durable laptop that sometimes gets viruses and other times shuts down unexpectedly and forgets to save.

More often than not, I am constantly questioned about my brand choice. “It’s weird you don’t have a Mac,” or “Can I borrow your charger?” that I clearly don’t have. But at the end of the day, I’ve been with my same Dell for four years, and I know it better than I know the University campus. I don’t stress about keeping up with the constantly updated Apple merchandise, I don’t need all the fancy software like Final Cut or Photoshop. It’s almost as if my world is a little simpler when it’s just me and my Dell — and that’s okay by me.

Throughout our four years at college, we embark on a journey to better understand ourselves. A big part of going to school is trying out classes and clubs that may seem foreign to you at first, but eventually, as you gain an interest in the subject, you realize that the club you joined is made up of people with the same interests as your own. In some ways, we all start out as outsiders, yet ultimately find our niche. And maybe, if I’m lucky, these people will also have a Dell that I can share my charger with.

Laura Argintar is an LSA senior.

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