I came crashing into consciousness, roused by a pounding on the door.
This was no ordinary knock. Not your suitemate forgetting her key type of knock. Not your RA telling you are violating quiet hours (again) knock. Not public safety returning your burned microwave because someone doesn’t know to put water in the mac and cheese knock. No, this was a knock pulled right from horror movies, the kind that takes the air from your lungs and leaves your heart hammering in your throat, relentless and aggressive.
For some reason, I felt no fear. Still, I did not rise to confront the anonymous assailant. If I were to be knifed to death, I assumed it might as well be in the comfort of my own bed. I lived with 7 other girls. Surely one of them would muster the courage to solve the problem. It was the shrill scream of my one suitemate that finally forced me to get up, messy-haired, blurry-eyed, and annoyed more than anything else. After all, it was just past midnight and I had an 8:30 the next morning.
Staggering out into the common space of my suite, I wondered if I was, in fact, still asleep. For what other reason would I be facing a Tyrannosaurus rex charging about, terrorizing my suitemates? As one suitemate continued to scream, another threw a punch at our jurassic interloper, letting out a stream of expletives.
Standing there, I was not exactly sure what to make of the chaos unfolding. I suppose I should have been mad. It was late and I had an overwhelming week ahead, full of midterms, papers, and lacrosse. Sleep is a precious, elusive thing in college. Any opportunity to experience it should be cherished. Yet, watching the inflated costume-clad crusader galavant around, I could not contain my laughter. Practically cackling, I was all but keeled over, tears filling my eyes. This was happening. This was my life. In what other time of your life besides college would it make sense to say that you were woken up at midnight by a guy in a blown-up dinosaur costume?
Oftentimes it can be so easy to be absorbed in the gravity of our situations. We, as college students, are at such a crucial point in our lives. There is a great pressure to cement our identities, find our passions, hone our skills, all to prepare us to carve out a place of meaning in this world.
Tests, papers, and projects can seem like the be-all, end-all of our existence, as we learn from an early age that our aptitude for them correlates with success. This is not to say that hard work and commitment to our academics, to our crafts, should be disregarded. I, personally, value my education above all else. However, it is important on occasion to slow down in life and allow yourself to treasure the little things. Do not always keep yourself on a such a tight leash, forbidden to indulge in things that are simply for fun. The memories you make from the spontaneous and wonderfully weird situations that can arise in college will give you something to look back on fondly and help you through the academic grind. In a few years’ time, it will not be the 80 percent you got on your bio lab that you remember, but rather the absurdity that can arise from being with friends.
So when I found myself sitting in the back of my 8:30 a.m. English 101 class, I may have felt a bit sluggish, but there was no contempt or regret in my heart. I had acquired a good memory, a delightfully surreal experience that I probably would not have had if I forced myself to stay in bed and ignore the festivities outside my door. And for that, I have a Tyrannosaurus rex to thank.