For a moment, I thought I might still escape, as my next class was in a building across campus, and I honestly didn’t know how to get there. Until then, it didn’t occur to me that numerous students had to switch building between classes, and that there would be an easy way to make it from one to the other in the allotted 10 minutes.
To my surprise, the same girl came up to me and asked me about my next class. As it turned out, she had a class in that same building and offered to show me the shortcut to get there (her shortcut was actually one of the most helpful hints in all of my time at NEIU, as her route saved about 2-3 minutes off of the more frequently traveled and crowded walkway)!
I didn’t give it much thought when she walked me to the building, said goodbye AND told me she’d see me at the next class session. I did go to my 2nd class that day without much further thought.
On the way home I stopped at 7-11 to buy a soda (a bad habit that stuck with me for my entire undergraduate career) and bought a pastrami sandwich at a local deli to celebrate my accomplishment (I did forget to tell them to hold the mustard on the sandwich, so when I opened it en-route, I just threw it out). My father had left the return trip from school up to me, and I really didn’t know the best bus route to take. I ended up walking about two or three miles to a bus route I knew and rode home.
It was an unseasonably warm day, especially for Chicago in January, and my mother was outside talking to a friend when I walked up the block. She looked at me and mentioned that it appeared that I had survived. I didn’t discuss any of the day’s drama with her, and I elected to go to my room and take a long nap.
I had survived that day and realized I couldn’t back out, but how could I make sense of all of the weird things I was seeing happen all around me?
Chaim Shapiro, M.Ed is a social media consultant and a freelance writer currently working on a book about his collegiate experience. He welcomes comments and feedback at email@example.com or on his website: http://chaimshapiro.com/