(123RF.com)

On March 19th, Jack Martin woke up at 8 a.m in his spacious, hotel-style, New Rez room. Ready for the day, he put on his jeans, ankle socks, and a crisp t-shirt, just like any other day. He recalls looking in the mirror and thinking, “Today is the day when things are going to change!”

On his way to school, he avoided slipping on the ice, an event that, if seen by others, would have tarnished his spirits for the remainder of the day. In his 18-person Spanish Civilizations class, he somehow averted being called on. “Ok Jack… (he often refers to himself in third person) we really dodged a bullet there,” he recalls thinking. The day was going splendidly. That is, until he decided to go to Redpath to study after class.

As he approached the concrete overpass, he saw a group of older students hunched over an elaborately decorated table. In an attempt to escape confrontation, Jack caught his breath, inched closer to the windows facing the opposite side of the room, and turned up Owl City in his headphones two notches. Strolling with his head held high, Jack focused his gaze forward, ignoring any temptation to look at their posters.

He saw the light, the long hallway ahead. Jack’s muscles were just beginning to uncramp when suddenly he heard a mousy voice over his left shoulder ask “Excuse me, do you have a minute?”

Jack timidly turned around. Stuttering, Jack tried to explain, “You see, I’m super busy… midterms hahaha.” Drowning in a pool of nervous laughter, his attention immediately turned inward as he mentally berated himself for the cliche excuse.

He felt the usual stiff, nervous sensation all over his body again. These weren’t butterflies in his stomach; these were seagulls in his colon, lungs, kidneys, heart and liver. His sweat began pooling in every crevice. His mind started to race, as he grasped at any clutter of words that made sense.

The spokeswoman abruptly handed Jack a pamphlet and looked at him in the eyes with a condescending and confident smirk that physically hurt Jack. Knowing he should probably just say thank you and walk away without being weird, Jack sputtered out, “No! I can’t do this!” and sprinted into the Redpath Library bathrooms, hiding the his tear-drenched face from oncoming traffic.

Jack is now in his second year. His name has been changed to protect him from more embarrassing encounters with tablers, campaigners or samosa salesmen. If you see Jack in public, please leave him alone.

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