Editor’s Note: Welcome to the newest McDaniel Free Press column, #hashtags, by Ben Shoudy!
Like many of you on campus, my earliest memory of Wednesday morning was being huddled over a toilet revisiting the dinner I had made for myself the night before (in this case a bowl of quinoa and sautéed vegetables). And that wasn’t even the worst part.
I, like an idiot, hadn’t cleaned my toilet in the apartment for well over a week, so I was also revisiting a plethora of other shapes and colors that I had hoped never to see again, caked to the bottom of the toilet seat.
But life is 50/50, or at least I’d like to believe it is. While I had to miss two classes and a test, I did get to lay in bed all day and watch half a season of “Boardwalk Empire” as well as the first two episodes of “The Walking Dead,” which I had been meaning to get to for some time. The latter program didn’t really blow me away.
As I glanced over the multitude of absurd Facebook statuses and obnoxious Twitter posts of how “Glar was out to get us” and how “the school doesn’t care about us,” my mind wandered and my head filled with more important thoughts:
“Am I going to make it to my classes tomorrow?”
“How am I going to get my hands on some ginger ale?”
“Why hasn’t Leonardo DiCaprio won an Oscar yet?”
Spoiler alert: I got better, as I’m sure everyone did as well. Teachers were forgiving of my absences, I stayed hydrated and, after several hours of consuming no food whatsoever, I ate some of my roommates saltines (He said it was okay). Take my word for it, those simple little crackers tasted better than any meal I had ever eaten in my entire life. And I studied abroad last Fall, so that should say something.
The scariest thing about it all was that I knew my 21st birthday was only a few days away. Of course I would be blessed with this magical day landing on a weekend, but then have it promptly stripped from me by a couple of pesky bacteria.
Those few days I would think to myself that, even if I did recover in time, none of my friends would want to spend time together with a deadly virus running rampant through our academic domain. Now I know how Hogwarts students felt when that basilisk was going around petrifying people in “Chamber of Secrets.”
I figured I would leave campus for the weekend, as so many of my academic colleagues were already doing, but I soon began formulating images in my head of returning to school on Sunday afternoon to some sort of post-apocalyptic campus where desks and tables were flipped and destroyed, tumbleweed bounced through Red Square and Ethel’s empty chair outside of Glar squeaked and swiveled as strong drafts blew through Decker and ominous clouds loomed overhead.
But then I thought to myself, “Come on, Ben. Be a hero.” So I Facebook messaged all of my cronies:
“No worries, y’all. I’m staying on campus this weekend. Help me celebrate. See you Saturday night.”
After all, you only yolo once.