I wake up a minute before my alarm goes off, at 8.59 am. This has been happening for the last two weeks, and I don’t know why. I bitterly get up, say good morning to my roommate, and head for the bathrooms, mourning that minute of sleep that I’ll never get back. I reward myself with a twenty-minute shower, and go back to my room, pick out my clothes- khaki shorts and a lion-face-print top, since it’s a warm spring day and I’m in high spirits. It’s my first post-finals day- my semester officially ended yesterday. My roommate leaves, and I ask her if she has any finals today- no, she says. She has two on Thursday, Economics and Math. I wish her all the best and I really do mean it. She was taking some tough classes this semester, and I’ve seen her put in lots of time and effort into them. I know she’ll do great.
I walk to my hall’s kitchen and immediately thank the gods for finals week. My GRT, bless his soul, cooked up an amazing breakfast spread for us. I gobble down some food and bounce out of my dorm. I have a doctor’s appointment at 10.20, so I cross the street to Medical and check in at the desk. I’m preparing to travel to India for my MISTI (watch this space for deets on this!) and I’m there to get my travel shots. There was a slight mix-up with my appointment, and I end up waiting for twenty minutes to see the doctor- I don’t mind. I flick through my Instagram feed, appreciating the fact that I can now engage in my social media ritual without the guilt I usually would have if I had psets to do and exams to study for. My doctor is really nice, and takes me through health precautions I should have while traveling and while abroad- I should take malaria pills every day while there and seven days after I leave, I should spray insect repellant on all exposed skin if I’m outside for long periods of time, and I absolutely must keep myself hydrated at all times.
I have to get three shots. At this point, I’m not even shaken by needles anymore. I had to get eight shots before I travelled to school, and three follow-up shots four months after that. At the nurse’s office, I eye the three gigantic needles laid out on the table and my nonchalant demeanor cracks just a little. They’re massive. I’m scared, but I would never admit it. The nurse makes small talk as she circles round me, and I barely notice her jab the first needle into my right arm. This isn’t so bad. The second one goes in my left arm, and I wince. The third one wasn’t as bad at the second, and we’re done! She tells me I’ve been very brave, and I get three band-aids to show off. Nice. She asks if I need a few minutes to lie down, but I’m already picking up my stuff. I’m ready to go.
Back at my dorm, I write out three cards for my professors, teaching assistants and Seminar XL staff. They have been imperative to my progress in my classes this semester, and I need to appreciate them. I pack a few clothes, since I’ve rather spontaneously decided to ride out to Providence to visit my friend tonight, and a library book that I need to return, and leave to deliver my cards. One of my TAs isn’t in his office, and I decide to leave his card at the department office. I rummage through my bag but I can’t find it. Oh, yes. I forgot to carry the actual cards. This is why I live in a dorm that’s close to school. I run to EC, get the cards, run back, leave the cards at their respective offices, return my library book and chat with my friend who’s working desk at the library. He has a final the next day but can’t seem to stop himself from watching YouTube music videos. I relate so hard.
I walk to Kendall, get on the red line, smile at a cute dog on the train, enjoy the priceless view we get of Boston and the Charles River at the Longfellow bridge, and get off at South Station. The next train to Providence leaves in half an hour, so I’m in good time. I dilly-dally at the station, watch the crowds of people coming and going, till I finally I hear the boarding call for my train. As we queue to get on, I notice the people ahead of me getting their tickets checked- we had to buy tickets? I’d taken this train before, and usually I just get on and pay on the way. I have five minutes to get a ticket before the train leaves. I sprint to the ticket offices, and there’s an actual queue. I’m impatient, but in reality, this is my fault, so I try not to glare at the attendants as I wait my turn. In a few minutes, I have my ticket, and I sprint back to the train. I’m one of the last passengers to get on. Phew.
Since I have leeway to be as Unproductive as I want to be, I watch Netflix on the way, occasionally glancing outside to enjoy the view. My arm suddenly develops a painful ache. I’d all but forgotten I had received three jabs earlier. It seems that now my body is out of its initial shock and ready to process the pain. Wonderful. In a few minutes, I can barely move both my arms without grunting in pain. I gulp down a couple of Tylenols which I always keep in my bag for emergencies like these. After a forty-minute train ride, we pull up at Providence Station. Maps lets me know it’s a fifteen-minute walk to my friend’s dorm, and since the weather is wonderful, I don’t mind a little stroll through the beautiful town of Providence. There’s much less traffic than Boston, and it’s much windier, I notice. We buy a substantial amount of Mexican food and chat about our respective semesters, and our first year at college. How much we’ve changed, and how different we are from the wide-eyed, euphoric, rather clueless people we were a year ago when we first arrived. It’s incredible, to say the least. Right before we go to bed, I remember to turn my morning alarms off- the official sign that summer is upon us, and so is sleep, sunshine and spontaneous adventures.