There’s no textbook answer for accidentally waking up your suitemates on the second day of move-in, and there’s not an answer for how to leave a party when the person you arrived with is having way more fun than you are.
As with any good story though, there is one single moment where everything changed — the moment when I realized that you can never be prepared for everything.
I caught lice.
Don’t worry, I’m clean now, every last louse removed from my head through hours of miserable, meticulous horror, but the process was one that I never, ever want to repeat.
I’ll set the scene.
I was sitting on the fake hardwood floor of my dorm, head between my knees and hair dripping insecticide down my neck. The computer was playing a tinny version of a Mumford & Sons song and my bed was stripped bare to the shiny plastic mattress.
My roommate was behind me, knees around my sides, legs radiating an uncomfortable heat against my body, and she was going through my hair, section by tiny section, methodically removing the nits that had adhered themselves to my hair.
After the first two hours spent in this lice removal position, I came to a realization.
There was nothing I could have done to prepare for this.
Could “The Art of Mingling” have prepared me for this?
The answer was a resounding no. Nothing could have prepared me for this. My overwhelming need to always be ready for anything had completely failed me, and it was time to do some life reevaluation.
I can’t say college, and my subsequent battle with lice, has made me an entirely new person, but it has made me think about priorities.
Being ready for everything is impossible, and a book called “The Art of Mingling” gives no information on how to treat lice.