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When Your Day Off Gets Hijacked

Audrey O'Donnell
March 30, 2018

My schedule this semester is organized so that I have Wednesdays off, and, to be honest, I really need those Wednesdays. There are many things that take up a lot of my time here in Buenos Aires that I haven’t had to worry about recently. Up until now in my college career, I’ve always lived on campus. In both Tulsa and Dublin, when I studied abroad last semester, I had about a five-minute walk to class. Which meant that I could roll out of bed twenty minutes before class, brush my teeth, wash my face, throw on clothes, and run. Then, immediately following class, I could return back to my room. This semester, though, I’m living in the city and my commute to class each day is about twenty-five minutes. It’s not a terrible commute, but when you’re used to not having to commute at all, it can feel like a lot. This also means that, typically, once I leave the apartment to go to class, I’m out for the day. Most days I’ll have some variation of morning classes, afternoon classes, and my internship with a half hour to an hour break for lunch in between. This schedule is more akin to that of someone with an actual job as opposed to the college schedule to which I have become accustomed. This means that, when I get up in the morning, I can’t just throw on my sweats and go to class.

Last semester, I got used to only taking four classes Tuesday-Thursday. I had four day weekends every week and this allowed me to do a lot of traveling and a lot of resting. Here, I’m taking five classes, one of which is an internship that requires additional hours and an extra commute, and another requires a forty-minute commute. So, after four months of four-day weekends and then two months off from school, being thrown back into a nine-five schedule has been a little tough. What seems like an ordinarily busy schedule, feels overwhelming at times. For example, last Wednesday.

I was up early Monday and Tuesday for class and got home late after my internship. Thursday and Friday were going to be the same and it felt like that Wednesday off was all that was keeping me going. I woke up that Wednesday and checked my phone, as I always do, and discovered that there was a trip I had to take for a group project for a class the next day. Even though this was a pretty minor activity that would only end up taking a couple of hours, it felt like my entire week was ruined and there was no way I was going to make it to the end. So, I did what I always do in those situations. I called my mom. I screamed and I cried and asked her if I could just stare at my dog for a while. Then I got off the phone and I went and did what I needed to do for class.

When I think about this experience now, or I talk to other people about it, it’s hard not to minimize it or to feel like I overreacted. It seems like a minor hiccup in an otherwise lazy day off. The truth is, though, that it was a big deal. Some things that are hard for other people, are very easy for me. And some things that are easy for other people, are very hard for me. When something gets added to my day that’s not supposed to be there, that can be extremely difficult for me to cope with. The important thing for me to remember is that this kind of thing is hard for me and it’s okay that it’s hard for me, but I can’t let it affect everything else that I do. These things will come up and I will do whatever I need to do to get them done, namely calling my mom and staring at my dog, and then move on.

At the end of that Wednesday, I was feeling pretty tired and frustrated on my way to get dinner. Then, I got to the place I was hoping to eat to find out that they didn’t open for another hour. Feeling like it couldn’t get any worse, I went to a coffee shop and ordered a cappuccino and sat down to read and to wait. When I got my cappuccino, it had a little scoop of blueberry gelato with it, and that made me smile. And that was enough to get me through.

Audrey O'Donnell

<p>I'm a senior at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma, with a major in English and minors in Creative Writing, Psychology, and Spanish. I started training psychiatric service dogs as a junior in high school and continue to do so on school breaks when I return home to Connecticut. Much of my time is spent reading, writing, practicing yoga, and playing with my dog, and I'm a big fan of peanut butter, early 2000s television, and the Oxford comma.</p>

Home university:
University of Tulsa
Hometown:
Harwinton, CT
Major:
Creative Writing
English
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