Suggestions for a harmonious and undisturbed campus existence
Welcome to the back of the classroom, fellow coward. It’s been a month since we’ve been twisted up by the academic torture tourniquet. We’re all shaking in our Blundstones. The Brightspace bell is your religion. Non-ergonomic lecture chairs have warped your spine. People you met in the first month now ignore you. The urge to board up your apartment and sleep for
1 000 years is at peak tastiness.
What you need is a little peace. I would know. I’m in the English department — the forgotten faculty. We’re like goblins that live in the walls to finish our readings. I would call myself a professional coward. One such coward who is willing to divulge a handful of hermit-ology secrets. I’m not here to tell you how to make friends. This is not self-help. Welcome to Anti-Networking 101.
The further I plunge into the interior of Ring Road, the higher my blood pressure rises. On the days I need to spend alone, I avoid the greatest epicentre of awkwardness: the quad. It’s like the Coquihalla highway without painted lines; a dystopian future where the cyclists have conquered the earth. Slide puzzle pedestrians are scheduled to stampede 10 minutes before and 20 minutes after every hour. Walking to class is a lesson in checking blind spots. Best case? You’re run over by a UVic car. Worst case? You make eye contact with the Tinder date that stood you up in September. This is not where you queue up your lo-fi and eat your $10 Mystic sushi. There are better sites to soak in vitamin D.
It’s hard for campus security to triangulate your wails of scholastic agony when you’re outside. You’ve got options. Since UVic overestimated the amount of people who would go to Vikes games, the absent audience at Centennial Stadium leaves us with meters of steel bleachers which allow for infinite social distancing. Check the times of practices and games and determine if that day’s athletes are playing too scary of a sport to spectate.
Then there’s Finnerty Gardens: a hyperventilator’s dream. Take quickened breaths from its overgrown benches and forget your plummeting grades. The over-oxygenated air is anaesthetizing. It is often done the trick to seduce another 200 words for my next assignment. Considering where we live, these spots don’t stay dry for long. Your weather app is a liar. It will rain. Head inside or face its wrath.
Need comfy seats? McPherson Library’s lounges froth with occupants. Tables are populated with an ocean of chatty cohorts or dominated by lone students. Don’t bother. Your salvation is the Medical Sciences Building. The first floor is a cornucopia of cushions, barren at all hours. It comes with a galley kitchen including a microwave, coffee machine, and sink. Stick around for reading respite.
Are the Mac Miller-type beats uninspiring to your cramming? Soothing guitar and piano by Bill Evans and Jim Hall on the album Undercurrent are at the top of my list. A strong choice of calming music for your campus crawl. Excellent for reading, studying, chill gatherings, and disssociation.
Idiosyncratic sleep schedule got you down? The Human and Social Development Building might as well be a Sleep Country. Take a swim in a loft of soft suede couches. I’m not sure what socializing they’re developing in there, but they’ve developed a great nap.
Food poisoning from The Cove? There are many discreet bathrooms all over campus. The basement of the SUB and Clearihue are as secure as solitary confinement. If your digestion is dire then I recommend avoiding McPherson, Cornett, Mystic Market, and David Strong. Abandon all hope to any who enter.
There is one spot that rules them all. The supreme space. A complete ghost town, cozily claustrophobic, and hidden in plain sight. Proximity to all the conveniences. The perfect amount of separation from any other student. Your coughs, sneezes, and farts will go unheard. It took me years to find this hermit’s paradise, the hobbit hole to my Bilbo Baggins. I’ve yet to find an intruder. It remains a shelter for this tired old scaredy-cat — the rack to rest my hat. Turning the corner and counting another day where it’s gone untouched is an indescribable feeling. That said, in a final act of cowardice, I will leave it undescribed.