To the Marshall Lowers, You Will (Not) be Missed


Image by Amanda Parmele for The UCSD Guardian

Maxine Mah, Senior Staff Writer

10 months. 

Is 10 months enough to establish a loving relationship? Is it enough to qualify yourself as “best friends?” Will I ever reach this threshold with anyone — no — anything, else?

10 months is how much time I will have spent in the Thurgood Marshall Lower apartments by the end of the 2022-23 school year. And by the time I move out, the collection of humble abodes I have grown so used to will have been destroyed, replaced by something entirely new for the admitted students of Marshall College in 2025. 

I think for all of us, there is something endearing about the first college dorm we lived in. Whether it was the black mold growing in the vents, the cockroach problem in the bathroom, or the leftmost toilet specifically reserved for vomiting up last night’s mistakes, I simply will not — cannot — forget the absolutely magnificent experience of living in the Lower apartments. And so, I hope my apartment within Activism didn’t mind my residence for the past 10 months..

I will dearly miss what my friends and I have coined “the funk procuring in all areas within the walls of Activism. In fact, the funk is so apparent within all walls of the Lowers, that I’m sure it is a widespread epidemic of smells all Marshall residents have become used to. The funk lives in every corner of my room. No matter how long I keep the door open for, no matter how many windows we open, the funk persists. It inhibits every thread of my clothing, every page on my bookshelf — even my hair exhibits symptoms of the funk. I hope, if anything, my future at UC San Diego will follow in the footsteps of the odor that has followed me — seeping, oozing, and trickling into every experience, persisting without fail, and incredibly difficult to get rid of.

I will dearly miss the shower head. I stand at a mere 5 foot 5 inches (with shoes on) and yet the showers within Marshall Lower Apartment A test my perception of height every time I attempt to cleanse myself (probably of the aforementioned funk). My eyebrows make contact with the shower head. And when I go to wash my hair, a small curtsey is necessary to make sure my scalp is completely free of shampoo — and sometimes, I’m not even sure I can get there. Most of the time I just give up and fully squat to rinse out my conditioner. Because why work out your legs at RIMAC when you can just take a shower instead? Not to mention the fantastic water pressure. When we first came to campus my roommates described it as “a light rainfall.” Again, I hope my future at UCSD follows suit: gentle, merciful, and constantly telling people my height is average, not short.

I will dearly miss the tree-trimming and rainfall emails. All residential areas on campus get emails, whether regarding RA meetings, construction, or the reconnection of Resnet, but for the residents in the Lowers, we get the best emails of all: 8 a.m. tree-trimming and reminders to “prepare for rainfall.” Because the Lowers are being torn down, the remaining area needs to prepare for its destruction, and thus, 8 a.m. tree-trimming ensues. I simply love rising-and-shining to the sound of chainsaws and construction vehicles moving around my area. Not to mention the rain warnings because the Lowers are so old they simply cannot withstand any amount of rainfall or else copious amounts of flooding ensues. Again, I hope my future at UCSD carries on the legacy of community emails and preparation notices — coming from someone with anxiety, they are almost too helpful.

I will dearly miss the bathroom door. Upon first moving in, my roommates and I quickly discovered that our bathroom door does not lock. While it may seem like it does — as there most definitely is a lock on our door handle — through trial and error that we will not discuss, the person on the outside can override the debilitated lock with just a quick turn of the handle. Of course, this makes for a wonderful discourse and a hesitant hand whenever needing to use the restroom. Although I could make a case as to how I wish this aspect of the Lowers immortalizes itself with my UCSD experience, I sincerely have no desire to do this, as I hope all my locks in the future will actually work and that I never have to awkwardly enter an occupied bathroom ever again.

So, you see, my effervescent love and appreciation for the Lowers is pretty unmatched; I simply wish I could live here forever. And while I have so much more to say about the aspects of these buildings that I carry such a fondness for, I must say that it is certainly time for the Lowers to go. As with all good things, they must come to an end, and as for my sweet little bungalow within Lower apartment Activism, I certainly wish it the best.

Photos via Amanda Parmele and Andrew Pan of the UCSD Guardian