How One Letter Changed My Entire Day

You know those stories that are really not funny at the time, and somehow hilarious a few weeks later? I’d say this is one of those cases. My day spent speed-walking (because running is gross) around campus was cold, wet, and probably a lot more stressful than it should have been.

Here’s what happened; until very recently, I never carried an umbrella with me. It hadn’t yet rained over the course of the school year, and so I didn’t think it was necessary to lug around the (minimal) extra weight. After all, on this Friday, (like every other) my schedule was pretty heavy, and a few pounds more was unfathomable.

When I left home that day, it wasn’t raining very heavily, and in spite of the actual forecast, I decided the rain would cease, and I’d be fine. So I drove to school, I went to my first class, no problem. It ended at 10:00 and I had one hour to complete the task ahead of me…

You see, the evening before, I’d received an email from my TA stating that our class had been moved from the Instructional Center to another location-I read it as DV 3055 – somewhere in the Davis Building. Where was that somewhere? I had to find out. An hour to find the new classroom seemed like more than enough time.

I went to the Davis Building (it was drizzling outside now) and headed upstairs, expecting to find this room pretty quickly. Did I? Nope. What I thought would be a short trek actually took about twenty minutes of wandering through awkwardly silent halls – you know, the kind that make you feel bad about making noise. But, I had to find my classroom, so there was no turning back.

I finally found DV 3055. A small room, with a few couches and a coffee table in it, thankfully empty when I poked my head in. Sounds like the sort of place where a tutorial of 25 people can be successfully run? Again,nope. It didn’t take a stretch of imagination to realize my error – after all, it wasn’t like this was the first time I’d misread a room number on my schedule.

About ten minutes later, I was sitting in the TFC, feeling more than a little foolish. My tutorial was not in DV 3055, oh no. My tutorial was in DH 3055! Deerfield Hall, just across campus. As far as I was concerned, it was about a billion miles away. And I had about twenty minutes to get there, which in hindsight should not have stressed me out. However, at that point, all I wanted to do was sit down and just… not. Walking across campus? What a struggle.

qwop-move-hurdle-o

(What going to a class across campus feels like)

Nonetheless, I’d made a mistake and I had a class to get to. So, I got up, I put my bag on, and I headed toward Deerfield into the rain. At first, it wasn’t so bad. It was a short walk to CCT, where I could get inside for a bit. On a side note, in CCT I was handed a pamphlet for a fossil walk, part of Science Literacy Week, which would happen at noon that day, and that would have made for a good end to that day’s not-so-good narrative.

In my mind, I was trekking through Mordor to Mount Doom. Only, you know, it was cold and the stakes were much…. much lower.  When I got there, the real doom didn’t come from onslaughts of fictional creatures and attacks from Nazgul (references, anyone?), but from the stairs in Deerfield Hall that awaited me. Not for any particular reason, just… stairs.

 

 

the-big-mistake

In the end, I reached my tutorial on time, then I rushed out afterward to go to where that fossil walk was going to meet – the entrance of the library. Did I make it? No. Much to my disappointment, I missed that fossil walk which was, for me, a tragedy. It seemed really neat – to be honest, had I made it, you’d be reading about the fossil walk, instead of the events that preceded it.

Overall? I look back at that day and take two things away:

First, that if you’re going to a new place on campus, make sure you’re going to the right place. Exploring is fun, and I want to do more of it. When I had somewhere to be? It was an awful lot more stressful than enjoyable.

Second, there are going to be days that do not go how you wanted them to, and it’s going to be a little disheartening. Whether you go to the wrong classroom, get soaked in the rain, or miss a cool opportunity, it’s not a great feeling. Three weeks later, however, when that time has passed, it might just be a fun story to share with friends! So, whatever UTM brings you, take it with optimism. Things happen – just go with it.

 

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