By Adriana Fallico
The air in the hallway of the George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre was hot and filled with dread. It was nearly 9 a.m. and so far I was having a pretty productive day. I slept through my alarm, forgot to put on deodorant and missed my train, all before 8 a.m.—which must be a new personal record. But it’s okay, I had just enough time before class to grab a large coffee and a bagel from Tim Hortons, which is always a recipe for good fortune.
Usually these things would be enough to send me right back to my bed but something was in the air that was different. Maybe it was the coffee and bagel but the sun was shining and I felt very optimistic.
I walked into the lecture hall and sat down, noticing it was oddly empty. I shrugged and assumed that everyone else was not having as good a morning as I was and would probably arrive late. I sat down with perfect posture, notes ready to go and a grin on my face.
Five minutes passed. Then 10. Then 15. The room stayed empty and it soon became clear that no one else was showing up. Extremely confused, I opened up the class WhatsApp group chat to ask if anyone was coming to class. After typing up a frantic message, my jaw dropped after one of my fellow students responded.
“Didn’t you get the professor’s email? The lecture was canceled because our professor’s parking permit expired,” the message read. I nearly choked on my coffee.
I looked up at the ceiling and sighed. What a way to start the day. How was I the only person who didn’t get the email?
Although my plans to attend a lecture did not go accordingly, I felt determined to keep my good mood going. I packed up my things and walked over to the Sheldon and Tracy Levy Student Learning Centre (SLC) to get some work done.
Basically, I had a group project due at midnight and I was working with people I hadn’t met before. When I sat down and checked our shared document, I was greeted by a blank screen.
Naturally, I sent a message to our assignment group chat. Debating on how I wanted to word my message, I plainly—and not so subtly—asked when everyone was going to start working on this. Over a span of 10 minutes, everyone in the group had read my message but no one acknowledged it. One person even sent a message asking, “Has anyone seen the dance party going on at Yonge and Dundas?” My message was completely left out to dry.
“Well that’s rude,” I muttered to myself. Eventually, after some double and triple texting, everyone liked my message and said that they’d get to it later in the day.
“OK, cool,” I thought to myself, assuming that everything would be alright—which is always my first mistake. I decided to wait to put that spare time to good use by doing some general research and creating notes to use in class because I’m such an incredible student. Look at me, being all productive and positive. Even if the day isn’t perfect, if I keep an upbeat attitude, I can put a positive spin on anything!
Fast forward to lunchtime, I got a text from a friend asking me to meet up with her and some of her friends at the Eaton Centre.
When I found them at a table in the food court, I didn’t realize I was walking into an intense debate: what came first, the chicken or the egg? I cautiously said hello but everyone was just too consumed in the topic. After several attempts at trying to get everyone’s attention, I decided to just pipe in.
“Guys, have you ever considered that maybe dinosaurs are the reason why the eggs got here in the first place?” I said, feeling very smart about my stance.
No one acknowledged me and the conversation went on, transitioning into the possibility that eggs may have just fallen out of the sky. Welp.
“I guess I’ll just see myself out then,” I mumbled. I got up and left, feeling just a tiny bit bothered by what just happened.
Feeling like I was losing the spark I had this morning, I found myself back in the SLC and decided to get some more work done—and pick up another much-deserved Tim Hortons coffee.
After a few more hours filled with tireless work for different courses, I went home and thought about my long and eventful day. To be honest, I learned a very valuable lesson today. When you have a positive attitude and refuse to let negative thoughts and experiences bring you down, you will actually feel much better about your day!
With a satisfied smile, I got into bed around 11:45 p.m. and closed my eyes. But alas, my so-called joyful day wasn’t finished yet. As I was drifting off, it hit me. I realized that I completely forgot to add my group assignment to our shared document. I scrambled to pull out my laptop in bed, and when I opened it up, I got the worst surprise ever. Someone had done my part for me and left my name off the freaking assignment!
I frantically pulled up our group chat and realized that I completely missed their messages this afternoon that said my research “wasn’t adding anything productive to the overall assignment,” and that they’d have to take my name off the assignment if I didn’t answer.
As much as I wanted to fix this, I knew there was no time to get it done, so I submitted my own portion of the assignment with tears in my eyes. Right as the confirmation email was delivered to me, I was hit with a question that felt like a sucker punch—was this an individual or a group mark?
I silently prayed and crossed my fingers as I opened up the course syllabus, praying for the best-case scenario, only to see that it was a goddamn individual mark.
I slowly closed my computer and put it on the floor. I stared blankly at the wall in the dark with literally zero thoughts in my head for a few minutes, contemplating everything all at once.
Then, I lay back down and went to sleep in hopes of pretending like today never happened. But all I could think of before I drifted off to sleep was, “Alright then, I guess I’ll just go fuck myself.”