Each time I return to campus after break, it gets more and more difficult. I don’t just mean returning to the reality of classes and homework, but my actual physical arrival.
The struggle begins when I must wrestle my fifty pound suitcase from the baggage claim carousel at the airport. Then, after dragging it outside and waiting for the train, I lug it into the train and awkwardly push it down the aisle, searching for an empty seat. Once I find a place to sit, I have to heave the bag into the seat, while a line of impatient people waits, watching me grunt and nearly fall over. Inevitably, the suitcase wheels will leave a trail of dirty water on the seat, which I promptly sit upon in my effort to get out of the way as fast as possible.
When the train arrives at 30th Street Station, I am forced to carry my bag down a flight of very crowded stairs without toppling to my death. Once I get up an escalator (WHY ISN’T THERE AN ESCALATOR DOWN FROM THE FIRST TRAIN?!) and wait, usually for ages, I then repeat the effort of getting the suitcase onto another train.
Once I finally arrive on campus, the journey really hasn’t even begun, as I must now carry fifty pounds of overpacked mess down the stairs under the train tracks and up the other side (Once, one of my professors carried the bag for me, which was possibly even more embarrassing than struggling with it alone).
Then begins the long trek to South Campus, taking the long way around so as to avoid extraneous stairs over the other train tracks. Finally, I reach the final leg of the marathon, when I must carry the suitcase, which is honestly as big as I am, all the way to the third floor of my dorm. This involves a system of hoisting the bag up one step at a time and praying that no sorry soul attempts to get down the stairs during my struggle. When I finally reach my room, I look as though I have just climbed Mount Everest during a heat wave. I collapse on my bed, soaked with sweat, thanking the Lord that I won’t have to repeat this humiliating and exhausting process for at least TWO WHOLE MONTHS!