A window inside life at Augustana College

My Life in my Pockets

One of my assignments for my class in Writing Creative Nonfiction is to keep a daily journal. I always used to think of journals as boring–I mean, who wants to hear what I did and ate and stuff? Now, I finally realize that my journal is not a list of the day’s events. It’s not like a ship capain’s logbook. My journal is now a place for me to scrawl and play and think on paper.

And one of my journal entries turned into what would be a pretty good blog post, so here it is:

My life is in my pockets at college. The three essential things every student needs to survive on campus—keys, ID, phone. Even money, especially for underclassmen, isn’t really necessary because most of what I “buy” is food, and I pay for that with my ID.

The phone is probably the least necessary item, but my phone is becoming indispensable simply because it has internet access. No, I don’t have to check Facebook every five minutes like some people. I’m talking about campus mail. Every day, I get at least fifteen emails to my Augie account. Most of them invite me to ten thousand different events or meetings, most of which I don’t want to attend. But some of them can be pretty important and cause problems if I don’t check my email for a few hours. Like when the location of my Sociology class was changed a couple of hours before class actually started. I’d checked my email that morning, deleted all the junk and spent a happy day in class. I got to my Sociology classroom, found three other people there, and we all waited in bewilderment as fifteen minutes passed and no one else showed up. Finally, one girl checked her email (on her phone) and figured out that the location had been changed. We all trudged across campus together, disgruntled. See the dangers of being out of touch with email?

ID, the middle item. You do theoretically need your ID to get into any of the residential buildings and to pay for food at either of the cafeterias. But really, even though they’re not supposed to, people often hold doors for you and let you in to buildings or wings if you hang around long enough. You do feel very creepy, loitering outside the door to your wing, but you get inside eventually. All this, of course, depends on the time of day and what building you want to enter. There are always people going in and out of Westerlin, so you should have no problems there. I’d assume the same is true of Erickson. Seminary, on the other hand, is a different story. Because so few people live here, there is much less traffic.

Your keys, however, and your room key especially, are the most important things to have with you at all times. You can survive without your phone, you can manage without your ID, but you absolutely must have your keys because if your roommate and CA are both out, you’re toast. Again, this depends a little on the hall you live in. At Westerlin, unless you get locked out during the day, there’s usually a CA at the front desk to ask. But if you happen to get locked out, you’d better pray that it doesn’t happen while you’re in the shower. There’s absolutely nothing more embarrassing than having to ask someone to unlock your door when you’re in nothing but a towel. Luckily, this has never happened to me, but it happened to my ex-roommate once…

Lesson learned: whenever I leave my room, I make sure that my life is in my pockets.

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