I sat in the library one cold, rainy October morning, cramming in some last minute studying before my psychology test. I came to the library because it’s usually a nice, quiet place. But that morning, I would not have the silence I needed.
As I opened my psychology book and flipped to the appropriate page, my attention was drawn to the people entering the library. Normally, I don’t bother looking up to see who’s coming in, but these two were making so much noise, I’d have to have been deaf to not notice them. They walked in and sat down across from me.
Being the nosy person that I am, I couldn’t help “overhearing” their conversation. The first guy, who was wearing sunglasses on a cloudy day, was complaining that getting drunk wastes too much of his time.
“In between drinking and skipping most of my classes,” he said, “I never have time to do anything else.”
“What you need to do is learn how to multitask,” replied his friend, who had apparently shaved only half his face that morning.
“Multitask?” I wondered. They had my attention. Psychology test be damned; I was curious now.
“Yes, multitask,” he continued. “Multitasking is doing two things at once to save time. For example, why should drinking and going to class be two separate things? Why not bring your beer to class and drink it there? That way, you’ll save time by attending class and getting drunk simultaneously. Then you’ll have more time to study.”
“That’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard,” I thought.
“That’s the greatest idea I’ve ever heard!” exclaimed Sunglasses. At that point, he became very excited. “Instead of using milk on my cereal in the morning, I could use vodka! The possibilities are endless!”
There, in that library, on that chilly October morning, I realized something: College students are insane. Although I’d only been attending college for a short time, I’d seen plenty of students embracing their psychosis. The first that comes to mind is the daily occurrences in my friend Dave’s dorm room. Upon entering, his room seems normal enough. There are a few chairs, a bed, and a small television in the corner. However, all I have to do is sit for a moment, and I’ll be treated to a display of insanity that never ceases to boggle my mind.
At least 23 times a day, Dave’s dorm door opens, and in comes an intruder that neither Dave nor I have ever seen. Without a word, the intruder walks into the room, takes some food, and leaves. Instead of stopping the thief, Dave greets him with a cheerful “hello.” Usually, the intruder gives a nod or a wave and proceeds on his way. Afterwards, I look at Dave and ask, “Who was that?” And every time, Dave answers back, “I don’t know.” Sometimes, someone steals a box of cereal. On the way out, the intruder looks at Dave and mumbles, “It’s for my vodka.”
The madness doesn’t end with drinking and stealing food from dorms. I noticed a while ago that an acquaintance of mine, Derek, shaved his head. This, in itself, was not necessarily insane. But one nippy December morning all that changed.
The weather had gone from okay to disagreeable that day. Rain seemed imminent. I was sitting in the student lounge in Aquinas, again trying to squeeze a bit more studying in before a quiz. I was startled by the sound of a familiar voice.
“Hello, Matt,” Derek said cheerfully. “It certainly is a cold day. I’m freezing!”
I looked up, a greeting on my lips, but found myself unable to speak. Derek, the guy who had shaved his head, was now wearing a winter hat. I wondered why he bothered shaving his head at all if he was just going to wear a hat. Why not just leave his hair where it was, and the hat at home?
“Why… with the hat… and the shaved head… and the…?” I replied.
“Well, nice seeing you,” Derek said, standing up to leave. It was then that I noticed Derek was wearing shorts.
The changes I made in my life after that were subtle. I stopped going to the library to study, to prevent overhearing any more ideas that are liable to compromise my precious, ever-slipping sanity, and I’m just a little more protective of my food when in Dave’s dorm. Finally, I keep my eyes closed at all times when talking to Derek, as I’ve decided that he should be an audio-only friend, for my safety, as well as his.
Oh well; I guess that sanity kind of subjective. For instance, there are probably a whole group of people who look at me and say, “What a freak! He has hair on his head and puts milk on his Cheerios.”