WARREN TOWERS — As yet another school year draws to a close, students across Boston University are already beginning to prepare for summer vacation. They’re breaking out the suitcases and deciding what stays, what goes, and what goes in boxes. In the following days, the summer on-campus storage program will return thanks to UPS. It’s a company known for its reliability, low rates, and stylish brown outfits that make FedEx look like trailer trash.
In the next few days, out-of-town students by the thousands will pack up their expensive textbooks (used once), snow boots (worn once), and other summer non-necessities (fanny packs, extension cords, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle posters). They’ll load them onto UPS 18-wheelers, gleefully forgetting about their belongings for four months, assured that their belongings will stay “cool, dry, and safe.” After all, that’s the UPS standard!
However, not everything living in a box this summer is inanimate. Freshman Landon Peters has plans to remain on campus. He intends to take additional classes to fulfill his hopes of double majoring. But most importantly, he intends to maintain a healthy distance between him and his overbearing parents.
“To put it nicely, nine months away from them isn’t enough. They’re not just your run-of-the-mill helicopter parents. They’re freaking Apache AH-64s with heat-seeking anxiety missiles. I’m taking all the precautions I can to stay away. Well, as long as they’re still paying for everything.”
To Peters’ surprise, his mom and dad weren’t willing to pull out their wallets so easily. While they agreed to pay for his additional credit hours, they refused to fund his cost of housing. Peters also made the mistake of forgetting to sign up for on-campus summer housing.
“I kept putting an alarm in my phone to remind me to reserve my spot. But I got really engrossed in some Tasty videos on Facebook, and then I forgot. Basically, Mark Zuckerberg is to blame for making me temporarily homeless.”
With only days to go before eviction from his freshman dorm in Warren, Peters desperately searched for a solution to his housing dilemma. Upon returning from a city excursion scouting out potential freeway underpasses to live under, he stumbled upon a campus UPS storage stand.
“I saw they were selling these huge boxes for reasonable prices. I started joking to myself ‘hey, I could probably fit in there.’ Then I realized it wasn’t a joke anymore. It was my summer home.”
After his last final, Peters purchased a mega-sized box for $45 and hid out in the bushes near the storage trailer for nearly 5 hours with his belongings. Just as the trailer door started closing, Peters “went all mission impossible on UPS’ ass” and slid under. They took him to a warehouse not far from campus.
Although authorities have yet to notice him, Peters acknowledges that there are challenging days ahead of him. “The box is pretty darn cozy. But I’m still figuring out all the logistics. Right now the Charles River looks like a good shower option. For food I’m going to shadow some rats to see how they do things.”
Peters also intends to use his boxed surroundings as a means for summer survival. “I found a rechargeable flashlight and some floss in a box way in the back last night, which was pretty bomb. Oh, and to whoever’s teal hair dryer I’m using, you’re a lifesaver.”
Perhaps most importantly, Peters sees his box living as a transformative and positive experience. “The whole thing’s a blessing in disguise, really. I’m learning so many new things. I might as well get a minor in city scavenging,” he exclaimed, ravenously eating an apple core on top of a mountain of cardboard. “Before, people just called me Landon. But now, you might as well start calling me Box Grylls.”
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