College students have it tough these days

I went to college back in the Stone Age — we didn't have cable TV in dormitory rooms at Messiah Hot tub
College, just in the main lounge. So what did my brother-in-law, Santosh, and I do? We ran a cable from our room to the lounge illegally, of course. It was great to watch all those channels in our room, but not so great to be called into the dean's office.

Times sure have changed. Just check out the new luxury rooms at Purdue University, my wife Malathi's alma mater in Indiana.

The $52 million First Street Towers, parts of
which will open this fall, includes 365 single-occupant rooms with
private bathrooms, flat-screen televisions, wireless Internet, free
laundry facilities and cleaning services.

price starts at $13,800 for the academic year, and all available rooms
were filled by Thursday, less than two days after open registration

"Our architects designed this so it is
a comfortable residence hall," said Tom Paczolt, the hall's general
manager. "But they tried so it didn't feel like a residence hall. We
wanted to have an apartment feeling." [Link]

An apartment feeling? Are you sure you weren't going for a "penthouse feeling"?  (No, I don't mean the feeling you get when you open the magazine.)

I'm not surprised that, even in this tough economy, there's a huge demand for these SBRs (spoiled brat rooms). I also won't be surprised if some of the new occupants complain about their rooms during orientation:

Dad: "What a nice room, Stewart!"

Stewart: "What the %$@#!"

Dad: "What's wrong, Stewart?"

Stewart: "The TV. It's not high-def! How am I supposed to watch the Colts on a flat-screen?"

Dad: "Why don't you buy yourself a high-def TV? Here, I'll write you a check for $1,000. Will that be enough?"

Stewart: "Can you make it $4,000? I'd like to get a satellite dish and a hot tub, too."

Dad: "Okay, son. Just make sure you study hard this year, all right?"

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. Well you know the best studying is done in a hot tub with some champagne and beer. I tell you, the moment I leave they come up with something like this… not fair.

  2. 🙂

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