8:15 am: Alarm goes off. I have it set to the “Friends Theme Song” because is there really a better way to wake up in the morning? Usually I groan, roll over, cover my head with my pillow, and fight to stay in bed for two more minutes.
Then I realize it’s freezing because Mara and I leave our window open a crack at night to make the heat bearable enough to sleep. So I force myself awake, at least enough to get up and shut the window tightly, and then I fall back into bed, convincing myself that five more minutes is an acceptable bargaining chip in exchange for a 16-hour day.
8:25 am: I can no longer put it off, so I tear myself away from my sheets and pull on the clothes that I put out the night before. Sometimes, like this morning, I rip all of those off and put on a sweatshirt instead. I end up regretting this around three in the afternoon, when I’m finally awake enough to think straight.
I do my hair (which inevitably feels dirty, even if I just washed it the night before), apply my “makeup”, and try to shake myself awake. Makeup can’t fix a tired face. Ever.
8:45 am: I’m done getting ready, and I still want to go back to bed. Instead, I leave my apartment-style dorm room and make the “trek” to the dining hall on the other side of the building.
Once there, I almost always get eggs, bacon, and a bagel (my only breakfast the entire week). Then I head back to my room and eat quietly in an attempt not to wake up Mara.
9:15 am: It’s time to push myself out the door again. I pull on my black coat, hike my backpack over my back, and head out into the cold. The freezing cold. And today, the cold wind.
9:30 am: I make it just in time to grab a seat by the wall toward the back of the lecture hall and open up my laptop. My Comparative Politics professor usually arrives just after me and then the lecture starts.
Generally, I spend a good amount of time working on notes, blog posts, and organization. I can’t tell you how nice it is to have a laptop in class. I’m a strong believer in multi-tasking, and being able to listen to a lecture and get other work done is incredibly useful. I wish my morning lectures were two and a half hours long. Because those I could sit through.
10:45 am: The lecture ends and I pack up quickly. Work starts in 15 minutes, and I don’t want to be late for my shift in Circulation. I head back out into the cold as the security guard stands by the door yelling, “Check yourself before you wreck yourself! Make sure you have your hats, coats, gloves, and scarves!”
Inevitably, I smile at him even if I’m grumpy, and leave the building.
11:00 am: Work starts. I usually begin my shift in the Exit Desk (see my story about Bobst if you’re confused about the terminology). Then I end up switching each hour to a different station. I’ll spend about four hours here, break-free.
3:00 pm: Work ends. My first half-an-hour break of the day begins. I cram my things back into my pack and practically run out the door. A block away is the Kimmel Center for University Life (and an amazing dining hall). If I haven’t ordered my food ahead of time, I’m in even more of a hurry to get up the stairs and to the eatery, where I almost always settle for a burger and fries.
I sit down with ten to fifteen minutes to spare and try to wolf down half of my burger (usually successfully). The fries are a lost cause. I’ll never finish them. But the caffeine in the Pepsi that I order is a necessary push for the next few hours.
3:30 pm: After walking around the corner, I swipe in and take a seat in my Investigative Journalism lecture. This is the lecture in which I usually catch up on readings for other classes or update my HayDay game (which I haven’t touched until now). Basically, it’s my moment to breathe. At this point, I’m about halfway through my day.
5:00 pm: I’m more than halfway there. Only two more events and then my day is over. I’m constantly reminding myself that this moment is coming, because I need to be able to see an end; the figurative light at the end of the tunnel.
By 5, I’m probably settled into my American Constitutional Law class, toward the back of the room. My laptop is probably plugged into the wall, and I’m praying no one trips over it as I begin my hardest class of the semester. Two and a half hours will go by before I leave this seat again. I try to think comforting thoughts.
7:30 pm: The class finally over, I stroll confidently outside, inevitably understanding my subject slightly more than when I entered. I walk at a brisk pace to Weinstein, the nearest food court, and somehow manage to find a seat. I check my phone, update my friends and family on my whereabouts, and gulp down a few slices of pizza and, yes Mother, a vegetable of some sort. Paired with a glass or two of milk, I run back out the door and make it to Bobst just in time for work.
8:00 pm: My day is finally winding down as my last shift begins. I’m starting to think about how my week is almost 1/3 of the way over, and how the weekend is nearly in sight. By noon tomorrow, my week will be 1/2 over and I’ll have nothing to fear but the countdown to spring break and lots of homework. And, since the library is usually winding down at the same time, my shift isn’t nearly as busy at night as it was in the early afternoon.
11:00 pm: Time to escape from work. Once again, I pull on my coat and my bag (for the last time today), and head out. Usually, I call Austin, Dawn, or one of my parents to recount the day. Otherwise, I jam my headphones down my ears and blast some kind of pop music. I’m happy. I’m free. And it’s all one step closer to the weekend.
12:00 am: I finally collapse into bed. I set my “Friends Theme Song” alarm for 8:15 am.
And the whole thing starts all over again in the morning.