I want to think that by 21 years old, someone is responsible and competent enough to know how to not be late. And yet, here I am disappointing myself almost every morning by sleeping in 20 extra minutes, completely panicked as I rush to class or work.
The cause of most of my anger has to do with being late. Everyday occurrences that I find irritating include obnoxiously happy people on the shuttle during early morning commutes, late trolleys or buses in general and the long line at Starbucks that prevents me from getting coffee since I’m already barely on time.
With so much happening lately in my final months of the semester, I’ve barely gotten any sleep and therefore wake up in a total haze, unsure if whatever I just dreamed about actually happened or not. I then notice that the time is 8:10 a.m. when I should have gotten up about 20 minutes earlier after my alarm went off.
Crucial questions buzz through my head while I wonder if I’ll be seeing any important people during the course of the day. If yes, then that means makeup and straight hair. If no, glasses and a bun. I then ask myself how important it is that I have coffee before class and budget my time accordingly.
Since it has been so bitterly freezing, I tend to take the shuttle a lot more than usual, and the worst feeling in the world is sprinting to the bus stop 10 minutes early just to find that it is already entirely packed with students. Depending on how late I am, the T can usually solve this situation so I reluctantly tap my CharlieCard and make it to class or work just in time.
But on Tuesday, I had one of the worst late experiences ever, and it wasn’t even my fault. I showed up at the bus stop 10 minutes early (that’s 3:10 p.m. for a 3:20 p.m. bus, which brings me to a 3:30 p.m. class) in the middle of the snowstorm. It was becoming later and later, and the bus never came — so I decided to sprint.
By the time I reached my classroom, after running across campus soaking-wet and taking four flights of stairs up, I looked utterly ridiculous. My hair was drenched in melted snow, my mascara made me look like I was crying (which I was on the inside) and my cheeks were bright red. It is always a risk to show up late to certain classes; some professors don’t mind as long as you attend, while others tend to throw a remark your way about timeliness.
So when I entered the room, I mouthed the words “I’m sorry” to our teacher and tried to be as discreet as possible, having underestimated how much heavy breathing would ensue. My glasses wouldn’t stop fogging and I felt like everyone noticed how absurd I looked. Talk about awkward.
I think someone needs to give me a detention.
Sydney L. Shea is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.