I waltzed into the classroom, barely on time, and took my seat near the far back. The only items with me were my small yellow purse holding my wallet, headphones and chapstick, my phone and my keys, complete with a UConn lanyard. I slid my winter coat off and settled in, focusing on the front of the class instead of the judging eyes that were pointed in my general direction. I shrugged, but not outwardly. I appeared as cool as a cucumber, but on the inside I was just surprised that I made it to class. I seriously considered abandoning the campus when I reached over for my laptop bag.
As I mentioned before, the only items with me were a small purse, my phone and my keys. What was noticeably absent as I rushed into the room, windblown hair certainly looking fabulous, were the materials for the class. Today I was too cool to bring my laptop, books, notebooks and pens to school with me. That’s right, I was wearing a nice pair of sweatpants to top the look off, and I really wished that my home was just a 10-minute walk away. I would undoubtedly have realized the lack of, well, anything, and would have been able to turn back and get it. But no, it was only as I reached for the smooth computer bag that I recognized my fatal mistake. Where there once was the image of the black bag on my passenger seat, my brain now pulled up the picture of all my school supplies lying by the front door, waiting for me. They were ready for the day ahead, and I had let them down.
Surprisingly, this is the first time in my college career that I have forgotten all of my things. Thankfully, it was a day with only one class, but it was still a little embarrassing. There were about 20 people in the class, so they all noticed the one girl without her stuff. Especially since this one girl happened to be on the wrong side of a political debate the week before. They may not know my name, but that room full of left-wing people had me on their hit list. And here I was, the delinquent, not even bothering to bring my books and still trying to get in the discussion. The incredulity turned towards me halted some of my contributions, but I did still make an effort.
I want to explain, whenever I huff and puff into class a couple minutes late or am weighted down by my huge backpack, that I commute; that the objects in the bags are my sustenance, that I’m late because there was traffic, that I don’t have my books because by the time I reached my residence to get my bag, class would be over. But it’s not like I can interrupt and explain my appearance. I have to trust that this group of understanding, compassionate, college-aged students would hesitate before judging a book by its cover.
Now, this class had already disliked me based on a past discussion, but I recognized a struggle that commuters may face every now and then. Forgetting my stuff on a day with multiple classes would be detrimental; though I have time between classes, there isn’t enough of it to make two forty-minute trips to gather my stuff. A 10-minute walk to spare myself some humiliation would be greatly appreciated compared to driving all this way and not even being able to take notes on the class. I do like commuting, don’t get me wrong, but this is one difficulty we face that those living on campus can’t fully understand.
Hannah Desrosiers is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.