Arts sig

The morning after is often more memorable than the night before.

Every college student has a story of “the morning after ____.” Whatever the night before included, be it a drunken hookup, insane party or just some adventure with your friends, the morning after is when you get a clear idea of what happened. You reap the benefits (or consequences) of your actions.

The morning after is a new day, baby, and you’re going to seize it. Or, at the very least, take two aspirin and hope that headache goes away soon.

So there I was, freshman year, waking up next to a junior history major who had wooed me with his tight black pants and knowledge of MGMT songs. I was young, impressionable and awkward. It was a, uh, phase that I’m apparently still going through.

I had the usual symptoms of the morning-after drunken hookup: ripped tights, rustled hair, bright red hickeys that had come about at a time I couldn’t quite recall. The boy lived on campus, so I wasn’t worried about the inevitable walk back to my room in Sandoz Hall. I would walk fast and stay away from the busiest streets. It was early, so there probably wouldn’t be too many people on campus anyway, right?

I stepped outside, shielded my eyes from the sun and promptly collided right into a guy and what looked like his parents, who were both carrying red folders. Their guide eyed me judgmentally and said, “And look! Here’s a happy student right there! She’s probably walking to … class?”

On my walk of shame, I had walked right into a tour group. And it was a school day.

As a freshman I hadn’t yet grasped the “party on Thursday and still make it to your 9 a.m. class on Friday” technique that everyone claimed to have mastered but had actually been the reason they had failed Spanish 101.

I looked up, smiled nervously and said “Yep! Going to my, um, science class right now!”

Science class. Not a specific type of science. Just science class.

I’m sure the tour guide was impressed and probably said on their way to look at the Rec, “Look high school students, if you come to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, you, too, can go to ambiguously named classes wearing yesterday’s clothes and not carry any books! Be a Husker now!”

I started walking north on 17th Street (forget avoiding busy streets, I just needed to get to my room and somehow make it to my class on time.) I stared at my feet to avoid making eye contact with any other potential Huskers then stopped at the crosswalk of 17th and Vine. I looked up across the street and saw a familiar face. She yelled my name, waved and walked toward me as I contemplated walking into traffic.

“Excited for our class??” the woman asked.

First a tour group, now the professor for my class in 20 minutes. This morning couldn’t get any worse, I thought.

“I’m looking forward to hearing your presentation!” the doctoral candidate said.

Oh wait, it could get worse. I was also supposed to give a talk in front of my class of 30 students, and there was no way I could convince them all that my hickeys were actually something else. “Before I start my talk on women’s suffrage, let me first say I can’t believe how hot those curling irons are! Look at these burns on my neck!”

I got to my room, put on non-ripped tights and a different dress, slathered my neck with Covergirl and grabbed my books. I ran to my class across campus and was only two minutes late. Somehow, I nailed the presentation and got an A.

And, my professor remarked on my rubric, she appreciated that I had changed clothes.