College: A world of Ws and Ls (but mostly Ls)

Alexandria Mansfield

News Editor

A.M.Mansfield@iup.edu

As a puff of watermelon-scented smoke clouded my vision and assailed my senses, I narrowly avoided the oncoming man on a longboard who apparently felt invincible with his wheeled mobility and headphones teeming with horrendous rap music. Unfortunately, I did not share the sentiment.

In case this scene is an unfamiliar one to you, it’s a college campus. And in case you were worried about my safety, I survived the skateboard attack only to be conquered later by $28 in late fees at the library.

Life as a student is like one of those video games in which you receive completely different endings and scenarios based on the choices you make as the game progresses.

My day began just like most students’ days – with a simple question: Do I have enough Flex to get Starbucks before class?

If the answer to that question is yes, then the follow-up comes: Do I have enough time to get Starbucks before class?

At this point, though, I’m usually on my way to Starbucks whether or not I have the indispensable time.

A good day is when I have the time and the money for a sweet cup of joe. A bad day is when I have neither, but I try to make it work with the loose quarters and thumbtacks at the bottom of my backpack, anyway.

Class is the next scene offered to me on the game-front. This time, it’s less of a choice on my part and more of one from my professors.

To fail or not to fail? That’s the ever-impeding question, right?

In some situations, I get As. I’m winning the game. Nothing can stop me now. Why am I even in this class? I could be teaching this class. Did anyone actually do poorly on this assignment? What a bunch of losers.

These thoughts may seem like an exaggeration for emphasis, but no, I actually can be that arrogant most of the time.

Then, I get hit with a 22-percent and realize that maybe I do belong in class. Maybe I should read the book. Maybe I should even buy the book. But it’s nearly the end of the semester now, so that ship has pretty much sailed.

It feels as if an “L” has been scorched onto my forehead. But, before I can get too down about that, it’s on to the next act.

Do I: a) go to work, b) do homework or c) attempt to forge a social life?

Like most of my grades, “C” is the answer.

Because the alternative options are work and homework, it’s a safe assumption for you to guess that the only friend in my contacts list is a coworker. So, I text him to see if he has plans for the rest of his Monday night.

While I wait for a response, I fall asleep on my bedroom floor and wake up hungry at 12:30 a.m. Still no response from my friend, so I crawl into bed with a spoon and jar of Nutella and call it a day. Not quite the “W” I was searching for, but not exactly a loss, either.

Maybe I’ll win the game tomorrow.