The door to my suite banged open as I ran across the room, pulling my computer cord out of my backpack, jamming it into the outlet, hurriedly typing in my password, dialing the number on my cell phone, opening up a word document while holding my phone to my ear as I finally fell back onto the couch, ready and listening to the ring on the other end of the line, waiting.
The time was 2:11 p.m.
That struck me as funny. I had once done quite a lot of waiting not at, but for 2:11.
I’ve been told my high school was unusual for picking such an arbitrary time for the school day to end, but odd or not, the time 2:11 became important and ingrained in each of us.
I can distinctly remember watching the clock, the second hand twitching and the minute hand reluctantly jerking forward to 2:09, then 2:10 and then finally 2:11.
In 2013, I graduated high school. My last day of classes – May 17 – ended at 2:11 on the football field with all of us wearing matching shirts, smiling and posing for photo after photo. It didn’t strike me at that moment, but that was the last significant 2:11. The last 2:11 that signified my ability to go home, to take a break, to get away from the stress of school, classmates, activities, all of it.
In 2013, I began my freshman year of college at the University of Connecticut. The date was August 23 when I moved into Buckley and met my roommate (who, fun fact, is still my roommate) for the first time. I quickly made friends (or at least one – the roommate), started classes (and stressing about them) and learned one very important fact.
There is no 2:11 in college.
Not literally, like, the time 2:11 still very much exists. In fact, it comes and goes twice a day, and, unfortunately, I am normally awake for both of them.
But there is no formal end to the school day. There is, in fact, no school day. School is an ever present – morning, afternoon and night.
In high school, your classmates stay just that. The people you sit next, talk with and maybe stress with in class. If you see them outside of there it’s 100 percent your choice – unless they happen to be your neighbor. But you only have a few of those, so it’s normally not a big deal.
But in college…that is not the case. For starters you have way more than a few neighbors. You have thousands.
Your classmates are your roommates, your dinner-mates, your party-mates, your cry-with-when-you’re-stressed-out-mates, your live-with-24-7-mates, your incredibly-impossible-to-avoid-mates.
There is no 2:11. And that’s somewhat terrifying.
Julia Werth is the news editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.