Now and then, every college student has felt the call.
That subtle, but irresistible cry of the bedcovers’ mourning chorus, the pillows bemoaning their loss, the blankets weeping in loneliness. We have all felt the primal urge to abandon all responsibility for the day in the quest to sleep in and maybe get more than four to five hours of sleep for once.
Alas, there comes a day for all of us when we realize that adulthood means crawling forth from that nest of quilts and old t-shirts in order to rush to a place that we have no particular desire to be.
Luckily, today is not that day. Today, we take back what is ours. Today, we ignore the pathetic keening of our 6:30 alarms and roll over, not in defeat, but in sweet, sweet victory. Today, we skip class.
It can be a heady thing for people unused to such rebellion. They sometimes can be seen sneaking out of their dorm rooms, their eyes wide with fear at the prospect of being caught, maybe even tip-toeing into the various campus eateries, casting shifty glances along the way and mistakenly believing that any of us actually care that they decided to rest instead of head to lecture.
As the day progresses, you can usually categorize their behavior into one of five stages:
Stage 1: Planning
You can see the wheels turning behind his eyes, hear the stratagems warring with each other as the student prepares for his first instance of truancy. His mother would be so disappointed, he knows. His principal would shake her head in disgust.
But he’s just so tired. Maybe if he emailed the assignment in to his professor—yes, yes that’s good. Now that his grade is no longer in jeopardy, he plans his onslaught. Can’t leave the room though, someone who knows him might be out there…
Stage 2: Elation
Now that the plan is laid, the excitement starts to build. She’s never done anything like this before. Her heart races as she snuggles deeper into her bedcovers and contemplates the intoxicating prospect of actual freedom.
What will she do with all of this unexpected time on her hands? She could get ahead on her assignments, maybe do the reading for her next class. She could draw and paint, maybe even finish her novel! The possibilities are endless! She giggles and settles in for a long, long Netflix binge.
Stage 3: Calm
He’s feeling pretty pleased with himself at this point; the excitement of skipping has congealed into a glowing ball of satisfaction that sits at the bottom of his gut. This is living. This is the wonder of adulthood. He can do anything he wants now, go anywhere.
He’s getting a bit hungry, though, and that orange in the fridge looks like a study in Darwinism. Can’t have that. He gets up to go to the Café because, darn it, he’s a grown man! He can do whatever he wants! But wait…
Stage 4: Panic
What if someone sees her? She’s already left the room, so she can’t turn back now. What if she ends up doing this every day? She didn’t think she would, but freedom changes a person. It just felt so good to get some actual sleep.
What if her future has been destroyed? What if she flunks out? What if she ends up a meth-addicted vagabond with no shoes and rotting teeth? She can see her future laid out for her like a map, the heinous consequences of this day stretching farther and farther into the abyss.
The walls are closing in. Her delinquency is choking her, the fear rising higher and higher and higher until she realizes…
Stage 5: Revelation
This is not the end of the world. And, really, no one cares whether she skips class or doesn’t because most of the people eating in the Café around her have done the exact same thing on multiple occasions.
She’s turned her work in. She’s not behind on the learning because she’s already done the reading for today. And she’s already missed two thirds of the lecture, so she might as well hunker down in her booth and enjoy her over-priced muffin. It’s not like she can’t go to class tomorrow.