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The Lamonster Epidemic
La-mon-ster (n.): A Harvard student who spends at least 12 consecutive hours in Lamont; often to finish a large pset or paper, or perhaps to study for a final exam; often pre-med. 

UHS might not take the Lamonster condition seriously, but we do. This critical, stubborn, and often harmful disease is hard to shake—once you catch the it, it will feel like it’s there to stay. The first step towards recovery is recognizing your symptoms.

Symptoms

  • Early signs of being a Lamonster emerge at the beginning of October (midterm season) or during Reading Period (finals season). Lamonsters characteristically develop an insatiable desire to snag the same desk in the same corner by the same window on the same floor every single night until the sun rises. You’ll find yourself telling your roommate that watching the sunrise from the third floor of Lamont is the most beautiful thing in the world and that no, sleep deprivation doesn’t take a toll on you at all. 
  • The condition will begin to worsen when your friend circle morphs from your future blocking group to the ghosts who sit across from you as the clock strikes 4am. You never speak to each other, but you know, deep in your heart, that you have a special bond. When your daytime friends start to forget you exist due to your chronic condition, you’ll find comfort in the fact that your ghost friends are going through the same thing. 
  • One day, you’ll walk into the library and find an intruder hunching over your “designated space” (did it have your name on it, sir?). From then on, the rage that bubbles inside you will manifest in an aggressive defense—you pledge to keep that sweater that Aunt Marge gave you three Christmases ago on the back of your chair forever, so no one will dare take your spot again. It’ll stay there, guarding that beautiful, wooden holy grail without the flickering light and the outlets that actually work when you leave for Berg, leave for class, or pretend to go to office hours. 
  • The Lamont Café baristas know your drink before you even step up to the counter. They know you’re running out of BoardPlus, so they’ll give you a large for the cost of medium. Even they know you’re a cry for help. 
  • You settle into your condition, briefly power-napping to avoid pure insanity. Some people bring pillows/blankets/toothbrushes/pajamas, but, if you do, you’ll make yourself a target to the “Sleeping in Lamont” Tumblr page, where you’ll live forever in infamy. Listen, kid, if you’re going to do this just don’t be the Lamonster caught brushing your teeth in the second floor bathroom (pro-tip: the basement bathroom is usually deserted).

Treatments and Care 

You’ve had enough. This lifestyle isn’t for you. We don’t like to judge, but we agree—the last thing you want to remember from your freshman year was watching one of your 4am chums pick their nose as another burped in the distant background. 

Here’s how to purge the Lamonster bug from your system: 

  • Fall in love and break the curse—no, sorry, that’s Beauty and the Beast and will not work for you at Harvard, unless you have some miraculous successful romantic enterprise (see Dating). 
  • For real though, take note of the other, healthier, and friendlier study spots on campus including the Harvard Art Museums atrium, Cabot Science Library, and CGIS café. Instead of relying on that same desk in the same corner by the same window on the same floor every single night until the sun rises, rotate from library to library each night and try your best to leave before midnight. 
  • Don’t leave papers to the last day—you know that morphing into a Lamonster is triggered by a deadline that snuck up on you and you don’t want to go down that slippery slope again. Expos is only a semester long and you only have three papers. You don’t need to do this to yourself.
  • Cut your ties with your 4am ghosts and don’t let them haunt you when they beg you to come back. Retreat into the loving arms of your blocking group and daytime friends, who are patiently waiting for your triumphant return. 
  • Take the toothbrush out of your bag.The toothpaste too—no, the minty fresh scent is not an excuse to keep in there. In fact, throw them away and buy new ones. They’ve probably been contaminated with some bug in some corner of Lamont (you know, that time you dropped your toothpaste in the sink and were too tired to squeeze more from the tube, so you scooped it from the bottom and hoped no one saw, but WE DID). 
  • Promise yourself you’ll only brush your teeth in the comfort of your room, where you pledge to return before the sun comes up. Find out that your roommate has been using your condition as a convenient way to hook up with the guy from two doors down every night. 
  • Endure your roommate’s wrath for the rest of the year—you’re in a better place now. It’s going to be okay.
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Francesca Malatesta,  Editor in Chief
francesca.malatesta@hsa.net
Jessica Luo, Publishing Director
jessica.luo@hsa.net