Plinky: “Recall your very first day of school. How did you feel?”
Memories of my first day of school ever (kindergarten) do not exist. However, my first day of college is rather more memorable.
It was a sunny, boiling hot August day. My dorm did not have air conditioning, and I was not adjusting well. My first class of the day was chemistry. My roommate, who I barely knew at the time, was in the same class, but she was not in the dorm room when it was time to leave for class, so I had to set off alone.
Not knowing anyone in the class, I sat by myself in the balcony section of the lecture hall and waited for class to start. The lecture hall filled up, and several Indian guys sat down next to me. Being unsocial, I did not bother to look up, and focused on the lecture that was beginning. The lecture was one of those general, introductory background informational summaries that professors typically begin the semester with. I remember sitting through the whole lecture, wondering if I were supposed to be taking notes. Nothing seemed relevant, or worth remembering for an exam. Was all of college going to be like this? [Answer: Well, not all of college. More like 50%.]
As soon as class ended, the guy next to me introduced himself as “Sid”. As we all filed out of the lecture hall, he asked my name, and continued talking to me.
“What did you think of the lecture?”
“Are you going to lunch now?”
“I don’t know where any of the dining halls are…could you show me where one is?”
“Yeah, that class seems like it is going to be pretty hard, you will have to help me study.”
“So, what kind of music do you like?”
“Can I eat lunch with you?”
“Do you like to drink [alcohol]?”
“Oh, well that’s actually nice that you’re not a partier.”
“Can I have your phone number?”
“What’s your major?”
“What’s your next class?”
“Oh, I have that class too, do you want to hang out until then? Do you like video games?”
“Oh, well maybe this evening instead? I live over in—.”
“Maybe some other time, then. Do you like to shop? All girls like to shop.”
“We could go to the mall this weekend!”
“Where do you live?”
“What do you want to do now?”
“Will you marry me, move to India, and have my Indian babies?”
Ok…he didn’t actually ask that last question. But I’m pretty sure he was heading in that direction. He probably would have waited at least until that weekend to ask me during our shopping trip.
At this point, I finally managed to escape, by saying that I already had plans to meet with a friend, so I had to leave. This was only half a lie. I had tentative plans to meet a friend, but we hadn’t picked a time yet. As soon as I managed to get away and power walked a block or so and was calling my friend to tell her I was coming over NOW, I heard someone calling my name. I tried to ignore him, but it didn’t work. Turns out he supposedly needed me to walk him back to where he lived. I just stopped and pointed in the general direction of where he needed to go, and headed off in the opposite direction.
Confession: I was too dumb and naive to not give him my phone number. I was also too slow-thinking to give him a fake number. I was one sheltered, stupid freshman. However, I fortunately was not so naive as to ignore the warning signs by the time he was suggesting that we hang out until our next class. I started evading questions, and did not tell him where I lived. I just gave the general answer “Oh, in the dorms”. The college we were at is pretty large, so there are multiple dorms spread out over campus, so this was not a very helpful answer at all.
I escaped, jumpy and uneasy, and headed to my friend’s. She was in the same major as me and a year older, so I hadn’t seen her for about a year since she had gone off to college. Catching up with her, and telling her my crazy tale made me feel a lot better. (Getting away from Sid was also pretty therapeutic.) I stayed there until I had to leave for my next class. I was terrified of running into Sid, so I arrived last minute, and sat by a bunch of other people. Darn red hair, I didn’t want it to give me away. I’m much too easily spotted in a crowd. Luckily, I did not see him.
When I got back to my dorm afterwards, I had just gotten inside when my phone rang. I answered. Oh yeah, it was Sid. If I had known it was him, I wouldn’t have answered, but you see, I had not asked for his phone number in return when I had given him mine. He asked some question about class. Some question that reeeally did not need an answer. I said, “uh, no…I don’t think so.” And hung up, as I got into the elevator. He called back. I didn’t answer. He called back again. I decided I would answer this one last time, and never again.
He said, “Oh, are you busy?”.
Luckily he did not call back again that day. For the first (and only) time in my life, I called my parents, feeling like I was about to have a panic attack or cry. They seemed concerned, and my dad started talking about calling the campus police if necessary, and carrying Mace. That actually calmed me down, because I was thinking, “Ok, this situation is not fun, but I don’t think it is THAT bad…”. After my phone call, my roommate came into the room, so I told her about my stalker. She didn’t know me yet, so she thought I was just one of those girls who over exaggerate and think every guy is after her and interested in her. [She soon realized that I was the OPPOSITE of that girl.] I had dinner in a different dining hall with some people I had known a little in high school, who were also a year older than me. I felt better about life again.
That evening I just sat in my dorm room relaxing and reading and trying to stay cool before going to bed at a normal time.
Nope, the day doesn’t end there.
I woke up at 3am. I spent the next 3 hours throwing up. I’m pretty sure that I was dehydrated and over-heated, since I was not used to spending the majority of my day in 80-90 degree heat, and walking long distances in the sun, and I really had not drank that much water. Unfortunately, my RA who found me and took care of me a little, just assumed that I was homesick, and overly worried about my stalker.
Look, if I had been so nervous as to make myself sick, I would not have fallen asleep. By the time I had gone to bed, I was feeling pretty happy and secure again. So now my RA thought I was a pathetic homesick, terrified girl. Great.
So that was my first day. I had looked forward to college for years, and my first 24 hours was HORRIBLE. (Aside from catching up with old friends.) Fortunately, things improved, and I only had one other incident with a different guy literally pursuing me across campus. (Long story. It involves trading arms with people in Columbia. I’m dead serious. I will save it for another post.) BUT COLLEGE GOT MUCH BETTER AFTER THAT.
Oh. I did not see Sid for about a month and a half. I have to mention that he only knew my first name, what college I went to (a very large one, at that), and what I looked like. Then, one day after class I logged in to Facebook…and I had a friend request AND a message from him:
“Heeeeey…long time no see. :)”
How did he find me without a last name?!
Delete. Decline Friendship Request.