Student grapples with concept of time, awkwardly arrives early to everything

It is officially the time of the year where I get back to my dorm room after a long day of classes and sleep to forget about the day. The only problem I have with this arrangement is that I only have classes until 1 p.m. The fact that I think it is fine to have a full day of “Ivanna time” after doing the bare minimum proves that I have officially become a meme. Dear students, please do not follow my example.

You see, it is perfectly okay to take some time for yourself, especially if you need to relieve some pressure, BUT IT IS NOT OKAY TO NAP FOR MAJORITY OF THE DAY (tag myself). Why? Well, because if you are anything like me, you do not relax after the relaxation time, you only mourn the time that was lost.

Time is important, to me at least, because I am like the white rabbit in “Alice in Wonderland.” I find myself running all the time out of fear that I will be late! (Someone give me a pocket watch!) I even try to leave for classes as early as possible to ensure that I get to them on time, but admittedly I take this too far.

Don’t believe me? One day I got to a class 20 minutes too early because of the irrational fear that I might miss it. It was an auditorium class, and we already had assigned seating. However, I only remembered where I sat in relation to people that sat next to me, so when I walked into the classroom filled with rows of empty seats, I did not remember where my seat was without anyone there! I walked up and down the rows hoping to remember where I sat and, like Goldilocks, I sat in practically every chair to find the one that felt just right. Suddenly, the heat radiating from the tiny bulbs above each chair seemed to mock me, and the room got hotter as I tested each seat. (I was wearing a large coat and the heating was on.)

As you might imagine, I panicked and gave up on trying to find my seat. I remained at the door looking lost, until someone I recognized walked in. I followed them, like in the cartoons, step by step, row by row, until they found their seat, and I was able to orient myself and safely find my own seat. This experience and many more have helped me realize that punctuality is not a virtue when I confuse punctuality with the irrational fear of arriving late. Google tells me that there is a name for this: allegrophobia. However, there’s nothing Allegro about being late, much less arriving too early just to awkwardly sit or engage in small talk with the people around you.

You know that feeling if you have ever arrived at a birthday party precisely when the invitation told you to arrive. I was always that kid who arrived at parties too early and had to awkwardly sit in a couch with a cup of Hawaiian Punch on one hand and a frosted cookie on the other. Of course, the kid whose party it was felt thankful that someone arrived until their parents walked out of the room, since that meant they had to talk to me. But it’s fine. You see, I eventually got really good at small talk, and by the time the other guests arrived I took on the role of co-host with teeth covered in pink frosting and a red Hawaiian Punch mustache.

Unless you really want to appear in the background of a lot of people’s birthday pictures, I do not recommend arriving too early to a birthday party. What I do recommend, however, is learning to spend your time wisely. Do arrive on time to things, because as much we may dislike it, our society runs on time.

However, if you do find yourself in awkward silence with someone else suffering from a serious case of allegrophobia, make sure you engage with them. Complain about the weather or ask them to reveal their life story. I’m sure you arrived early enough to have time for a story. I can assure you that spending time with others is time well spent. And so is time alone, but not too much! (Read above!)

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