The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Since I was young, I’ve always found the idea of the first day of school exciting. I remember I’d love packing my backpack, preparing my outfit the night before, and waking up extra early to get to school and see my friends. The feeling of uncertainty that comes with no knowing whether or not you will have new classmates or who your professors will be, while terrifying, is also fantastic. School, at least to me, represents a second home. It is a place where you meet people from different backgrounds, cultivate your brain and make the very best memories of your life. Every single “back to school” experience I’ve had has been memorable in one way or another, and this past week was not an exception. Let me tell you a little about how my first week of school -post-pandemic- crushed me, and I crushed it.
It all began this Monday. I woke up at around 9 A.M, took a shower, had breakfast, and got ready to go to campus, for my first class was supposed to start at 4:10. Being at school felt like a dream since I had not had any in-person classes the past year. I was mesmerized, nostalgic even, at the sight of the buildings that had once been my home. I walked around campus and even got to see some of my friends. Everything was going great until I got THE email. The one I now consider the opening to a series of not-so-fortunate events.
Don’t get me wrong, the email itself was nice and warm. It came from one of my professors to welcome us to the class, give instructions, and wish us all a great semester. It did put a smile on my face, for a couple of seconds at least, then I read the words: “It was nice seeing you in the lab.” Lab? I shouted. My friend looked at me, confused. “We had lab today?” I said again, my voice a bit less stable this time. A growing confusion filled my friend’s face as he asked what was going on. I took my laptop out. “There must be a mistake,” I told myself, for I had read a couple of days ago that lab, just like every year, would not begin until the second week of school. I tried opening the webpage, but it was not loading. It was then that my friend informed me that the wifi signal across campus had collapsed. I felt lightheaded. Quickly, I grabbed my phone to reread the syllabus. And -regardless of my prayers- there it was, the cruel truth. We had had a lab that morning, and I had missed it. I misread a sentence from the syllabus. It had been a mistake, an honest one, as my friend described it, but a mistake after all.
I emailed my professor as fast as I could to apologize and explain my situation. This had never happened to me before. I’ve always been very responsible when it comes to school. He was very kind and understanding about it, and he explained that the first lab had been more of an optional review. Reading his response, I felt my soul coming back to my body. And just like that, the first unfortunate event became less unfortunate.
The next day was not as eventful. I attended all of my classes, and I had a good time. When I got home, however, I realized that for the past two days, I had only eaten cereal, coffee, and two PB&J sandwiches. That was not fun, and looking at my schedule, I knew this situation would not change anytime soon. So, after talking to my friend, I decided to get a meal plan. I always liked eating at the dining halls when I was a freshman, so I was very excited and content with my decision.
Wednesday, however, just when I thought everything was going a bit better, the unexpected -or expected at this point- happened. I lost my student I.D while walking on campus. Yes, right after I had bought my meal plan, I lost the very only thing I needed to use it. But despite the chaos, I decided to take control of the situation and go to Sbisa with my friend -for the first time in ages- regardless. And let me tell you, it was the highlight of my day.
So… Brenda 3, Bad Luck Gremlin 0.
The next day, I woke up with a more positive attitude. Yes, I did miss my first lab and lost my I.D. But after having lived through a worldwide pandemic, there are only so many things that can bring you down. This day was eventful but in a positive way. I attended all my classes, worked on my interviews for dental school, and even got to see all my girls from HerCampus during our first in-person meeting almost two years. It was delightful. And, of course, just to keep the streak of unfortunate events, the night came. And what did it bring? Ants. Yes, fire ants.
It was Friday at 4:00 A.M. I was sleeping comfortably in my bed -happy that I could wake up a bit later that day since I did not have school- when I felt something tiny walking on my arm. I rapidly grabbed my phone and turned on the flashlight. And there they were, tiny fire ants -at least 10 of them- walking on my bed. I’d lie if I say I did not want to move out that exact moment; it was terrifying and very annoying. The Bad Luck gremlin was working extra hard, but I work harder. I was not going to let him win. So, instead of having an existential crisis, I took my blanket and pillow -after making sure they were ant-free, of course- and went to sleep in the living room.
I woke up, once again, ready to take control of the situation. I went to the leasing office and told them what had happened. They were very kind and responsive and told me someone would be coming later to treat my room. I then came back to my apartment, grabbed my backpack, and headed to campus. Once there, my friend and I took a bus to the GSC to replace my I.D. I made the line, and once it was my turn, they told me that I had to upload a new photo and wait a couple of days until it was approved. At that point, I was not surprised at the inconvenience. I thanked the lady for her help and left the place. The rest of the day proceeded a bit less chaotic. I was able to pick up my anatomy book and buy other supplies. I also got to spend some time with my friend at the annex. There, I had another moment of realization -and maybe a small but necessary existential crisis- that allowed me to snap back to reality. For the millionth time this week, I reminded myself that no one but me is the master of my fate. So, I opened my laptop, uploaded my I.D picture, fixed a couple of issues with my schedule, and kept preparing for my interviews.
The rest of my week has been more positive so far. I have been able to work on my assignments, go out with friends, and even do what I love most, writing. So yes, even after every unfortunate event that took place the past couple of days, I can proudly say that thanks to the support of my family, friends, and, most importantly, myself, I CRUSHED MY FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL! And I hope you did, too.