In Stauffer there is a carrel that has something along the lines of ‘you are not a unique snowflake’ etched into the wood. The morale boosting properties of such a statement can be debated, but at this time of year, we students abandon uniqueness to join together in solidarity over a particular essay or assignment. A certain bond is formed within the hushed whispers of two students from the same class discussing an assignment in the library that is analogous to one formed by smokers huddled outside a door in the freezing cold wintertime; it is one of a shared plight.
A sense of fraternity emerges from a discussion over shared fears and anxiety over what exactly it is that you are doing – doing here, doing in Kingston, doing in your major… doing in your life. Things are in shambles, but at least you’ve got your new friend.
This past week one got the impression that the library was filled with students resembling chickens running around with their head cut off rather than the phlegmatic scholars of years to come. Or at least I hope I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. Desperate, daily trips to the library were fruitless and I would leave hours later with no clue what to do with an essay I had to write for a mandatory course. It was bad. I would sit in my classes, white knuckled, clenching my fist so hard that when it was unfurled, a constellation of crescents was littered across my palm from my nails. My heart felt like the epicenter of a tsunami of cold fear and frigid terror flowing through my veins. Obviously, I was a mess.
Then on an unassuming Tuesday morning, coffee in hand, ready to take on the day, ascending the circular staircase of Stauffer, I literally fell flat on my face – wiped out, spilling coffee everywhere during the process.
About now would be a good time to interject that I absolutely am terrified of falling on stairs – terrified. But it is so paradoxical because I think it is absolutely hilarious at the same time.
Recovering from the fall, genuinely crying from uncontrollable laughter (if no one heard the fall, then they certainly heard the laughter) I took my seat. Mulling over what just happened, I was struck by the thought of just how bad an omen this was; ascending the staircase that lead to knowledge – I fell flat on my face, ego bruised, but not bruised enough to get a medical note for an extension.
After some panic subsided, I thought about it a little more. And though I hate clichés (and I know this sounds far too saccharine) I realized that I was going to have to let this essay just fall up the stairs. I guess what is important is a recognition that we all fumble and fall every now and then and emerge from it laughing, taking it all in stride.
Veronica Saroli, Fashion Editor