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Tetris in College

Updated on January 10, 2018
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Sascha has been a college student in the Netherlands since 2012, studying at 2 universities and enjoying college life to the fullest.


Starting college life

Going to college. Isn't that just the sequel of high school? Okay, maybe you'll study something more specific, but the idea is the same. You go to your classes (which they now call lectures), you do your homework, you might have some practicals and your spare time is uses for fun things. I must admit, living the college life means doing a lot more fun things. Unfortunately, this does not mean there's also more spare time. Most college students will know the feeling of having to choose 2 out of "relaxation/fun things, studying/good marks or sleeping".

When I look at my schedule, I find parallel things almost every day. The feeling of having to be at 2, 3 or even 4 places at the same time has become habitual. It looks like Tetris, although now played vertically. Having multiple events horizontally creates - just as in the well known game of Tetris vertically - a problem. The more there are, the bigger the problem. And I've never been very good at Tetris. Since I started college, I'll have to, though. Tetris does not only appear in my calendar: the better you look, the more often you see it.

I've never been a star at Tetris

A student house

Let's have a look at a house shared by some students. Not too big, but certainly not tiny. In the house I talk about, potato chips are bought only a few times per year. The amount of chips that are bought on such a trip can just fit in a shopping cart - if you're talented. Experienced buyers of potato chips can tell you which supermarket has the biggest carts. Note that buying chips is also training your spatial visualisation ability: if you randomly throw everything in the cart it will never fit, but once you employ your Tetris skills a minimum of 50 family bags should fit in the cart*.

Employ your Tetris skills

A student room

Let's zoom in a little. A private student room. On average, smaller than desirable. On average, more stuff than strictly necessary. Nevertheless having a queen-sized bed, ignoring the lack of space. Just in case. Oh, well, I didn't need the full width of my balcony door anyway. The first gap in the Tetris structure has been created. We'll just accept it; it works anyway.

A student's books

Let's zoom in a little more: the textbooks. Neatly in a row on the bottom shelf. Well neatly? A little difference in size, a little difference in shape. Hard cover, soft cover. A pile of notebooks on top, causing more gaps in the Tetris structure. A T-spin has become impossible; not solely because textbooks and notebooks usually are I-tetriminos. The structure is being held together by an L-tetrimino and a J-tetrimino. Slowly these tetriminos gather a small layer of dust: their points have been scored.

A highscore

And then.

Then, at the very end, when the last tiny pieces have been put in the structure, then you'll hear the final sound.

The highscore.

Those coveted words: "Graduated, cum laude."

Owning one diploma in a field and one in Tetris, like every other now ex-student.


*Based on Dutch shopping carts and potato chips bags.

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