A Series of Unfortunate Events: College Edition
Since so many of you love it when I tell embarrassing stories (like the one in this post), I thought I’d share another one with you. Once again, it has to do with my university days, but before I get to the embarrassing part, let’s set the scene for this, a series of unfortunate events…
I had just completed my final year of high school, and I was so excited to go to university because it meant that I was actually a grown-up. In fact, during the whole summer between high school graduation and beginning university, I tried to act more mature as I was sure that it would help me fit in with all of the other students on campus. After all, college students are nothing but mature, right? So, I figured that if I acted the part, I would eventually sink into the role and no one would be any wiser about my complete lack of maturity, my illogical rationale at times, as well as my very unsure feet (have I mentioned that I’m clumsy yet?).
So, 2 weeks before I was to begin studying at my [now] alma mater, I asked one of my friends, Jon, if he could take me on a tour of the campus. He had already been a student at the school for 3 years, so I figured that he could show me around and help me find where all of my classes would be, where to get a student card, etc.
He kindly agreed he would help me.
We decided to drive to the campus together, and with him beside me, I had no doubt that I would be able to easily navigate my way around campus. Our school had 7 parking lots for students, and he drove me around to show me where all 7 were located (they were all a fair distance apart from each other), and then we parked in the parking garage. He told me that each student was assigned to either one of the lots or the parking garage. He told me that I’d be able to park in one, not all…this was the first thing that I should have remembered, but didn’t.
He then walked me around campus which, at the time, felt massive and all-too confusing. But, I was trying to be mature (remember?) so I acted like I understood every single thing that he told me about every building, and walked confidently, as if I knew exactly where we were headed next.
I honestly had no idea where we were going.
He then brought me to the office where I had to purchase my student I.D. card. When I walked in, the staff looked totally unimpressed and waited for me to sit on the chair & face them so that my photo could be taken. The problem was that I didn’t know that. They were waiting for me to move and I was waiting for them to tell me what to do. We kept staring at each other in this awkward, never-ending silence. I motioned towards the desk. The girl behind the desk looked over the top of her glasses at me, judging my every movement, and pointed to the chair in front of the wall with the tip of her pen. I looked at Jon for confirmation (as every mature and confident lady would do) that this was, indeed, where I was supposed to sit. He confirmed it was and I sat down.
I straightened my back, combed through my hair with my fingers, and tried to fluff it up a bit. After all, this was the student I.D. card that I’d have for the next 4 years; it had to look good.
All of that would have been great, except that the girl behind the desk didn’t tell me when she was going to take the photo, and, just as she did, Jon said something (which, to this day, I cannot remember exactly what) that made me laugh so hard that I, quite literally, fell off my chair.
The girl took the photo half-way through my plummet to the ground, so I was partially sitting on a chair with my mouth gaping, and tears rolling down my face from laughing.
I asked her to re-take it. She didn’t.
That was to be my student I.D. card for the next 4 years.
Since Jon had taken me all around the campus grounds, he thought that he’d spend the next 20 minutes or so showing me the tunnels. Yes, the tunnels. Canadian colleges and universities prepare for all types of crazy weather (including snow), so we had tunnels. They’re a great idea…if you know your way through them. You see, it’s not easy to navigate where you’re going; it’s not like seeing a building and just walking towards it like you would normally do. I mean, you’re in a tunnel. It’s dark. You don’t know where you’re going, really.
Jon showed me around all the tunnels, and which ones I would need to take so that I could get to my classes my first week. All in all, I felt pretty confident that I would know exactly where to go and how long it would take me to get there by the first day of school.
A week later, I thought I would share this new-found information with one of my friends who was also attending the same university. I thought that I could impress her with my expansive amount of knowledge of our campus. I suggested we head out a couple of days before classes began so that I could show her the ropes.
Emily and I drove to the university together, and I told her that since I received my parking pass in the mail, I was able to park in any of the lots or the parking garage (remember when I said I should have paid attention to what Jon actually said?). I parked in the lot that was the farthest away from where we needed to be. Not because I thought we could use the exercise, but because I couldn’t find any of the other lots.
I then told her that I knew a short cut to get to the main building (I didn’t) and if she just followed me, we could get to the building even faster (we didn’t). Suddenly, we were walking through trees and shrubs, and I felt like I was lost in the forest or something. I looked all around me and didn’t recognise anything. Did we suddenly enter purgatory where time stood still and nothing ever changed? I kept pretending like I knew exactly what I was doing.
We then came across a train track (was there even a train that came through the campus??), and I suggested we simply cross it because I was sure that I saw our building up ahead. Emily crossed without any issues. I tripped on one of the tracks and scraped my knee…to the point that it was bleeding fairly heavily.
No worries, though. We were almost there. I was sure of it.
We ended up wandering aimlessly around for the next half hour. We just wanted to find the correct building so that we could finish the paperwork for our enrollment and pay our [mandatory] student fees. Finally, we found our the building we were looking for.
No one was there. It was closed until Monday.
I told Emily that it was no problem. We could go on Monday and take care of all the things that needed doing. In the meantime, why don’t we take the tunnels back to the car?
We descended into the abyss of the university and were immediately confused. She looked one way; I looked another. She said she didn’t know the tunnels and would feel more comfortable if we made the journey to the car back on ground level. I said she was being ridiculous. Where was her sense of adventure?! Besides, I knew where I was going.
We were lost in the tunnels for an hour.
Finally, we found a staircase that brought us to a parking lot. Not ours. We walked for another 15 minutes to get to the car. I then saw that I had a ticket on the window and would have to pay a $35 fine. Apparently, you couldn’t park in just any ol’ lot. My parking pass was for the parking garage and only the parking garage.
Emily and I drove home in silence and vowed never to speak of the day again.
It’s a good thing that I paid attention to what Jon said when he first showed me around campus, otherwise I would’ve looked like a fool, eh?
Filed under: College, Education, University | 15 Comments
Tags: College, Education, embarrassing, friends, high school, humor, parking, post-secondary education, school, story, student I.D. card, University