A year ago, to this day, I grabbed a friend to go photo shooting in Forest Park and unintentionally ended up having the most fun out of anyone I knew at the time over that Spring Break. I didn’t know this at the time, but the area of St. Louis Forest Park is located in would end up becoming my psuedo-home for most of the upcoming calendar year.
I’ll admit, the preceding sentence is a small lie because I did have the acceptance letter from the university I eventually ended up attending and I did know I probably would be attending there when I went out with my friend that day. Nevertheless, there was not a chance in hell I would’ve known accepting was the right decision for me until after the events of March 14, which coincidentally is Pie Day.
I never really had the “aha” moment where the metaphorical clouds cleared, the sun shined down upon me, and from an ever-rising spiral staircase Jesus came to me and said, “Sid, this is where you belong,” as he hands me my decision in my metaphorical letter. Instead I had a discussion with my best friend over where I should go for the next part of my school. I honestly had no idea where that would be; I had acceptances from a few different places and each school seemed like it was good enough for me to attend. In the back of my mind, I always knew this was the place I’d go, but there’s no real point in following the path if you aren’t going to stop and look around every once in awhile.
Near the end of the afternoon, I remember sitting at the steps of the Art Museum and looking down at the landscape before us. The museum is closed on Mondays, so it was an unnaturally quiet moment. Like I said, there was no parting of the clouds which would have actually been very fitting seeing it was an overcast day, and I didn’t have anything witty to say. I just knew at that moment this was the mountain I had to climb.
Flash forward and we’re not taking on the world together because we don’t go to the same university. We barely see each other when on breaks too because of how busy we are. However, I do happen to be on Spring Break and I do happen to have an annoying/charming knack for surprising people, so on Monday morning I decided to wake up at 6 AM and leave an hour later after getting ready to make the 90 minute drive to Columbia, Missouri to see my best friend.
At this point, I should mention I had absolutely no idea where any of her classes are, what time any of her classes are, or if she’d even be going to school today. With a little bit of magic I did find out where the building where one of her classes was, but still I had no room number nor time. Additionally, I have no income anymore because of this thing called school so I really needed free parking.
To add on to the fun, my phone died the moment I stepped out of my car upon arriving. This wouldn’t have been a big deal because back in the day, I’ve heard stories about how the pioneers used to use maps to find directions on where to go, but I think they stopped making those once life switched to technicolor in the ’60s.
After a lot of stumbling through the freezing rain, I found Mizzou’s main quad and administrative building and thankfully the secretary working the desk willingly gave me free parking. She also gave me a paper map which was very hard to use because it didn’t do the thing Google Maps does where it shows your position on the grid relatively to the line you need to follow. Did I mention that it was freezing rain while I was trying to read this map which means the paper was slowly disintegrating every time I pulled it out of my pocket?
I arrived on campus at 9:02 and I didn’t stumble my way into Strickland Hall until 9:50, 10 minutes before my friend’s diff eq. class was supposed to begin. Okay, this is good. Not wanting to sit after an entire morning of sitting (Fitbits are surprisingly good at guilt tripping you into being active) I walked over to the end of the hall and then had a seat. Right at that very moment, every door of every classroom in the hall burst open as hundreds of zombies shuffled out. Since I’m Sid Rana, I always have hit-or-miss luck (lately I’ve been striking out every time I step to bat) but yesterday something wonderful happened for a change. I looked up and right at that moment my bestest friend in the world walked out of class and took off down the hall.
The next 30 seconds are probably the closest I will ever come to starring in a movie. I zipped up my backpack and burst into the stairwell and then had to make a decision on whether to get off on the second floor, or continue down and out. I decided to burst through this set of doors as well and right there at the opposite side of the hallway stood my best friend who I haven’t seen December. (I technically saw her in January but it sounds more dramatic if I write December) God might as well close the curtains and roll the credits because even if I became a brain surgeon nothing will ever be as impressive as that right there. For once I didn’t have a sarcastic line to snap at her completely shocked face.
(If you guys want to hear a secret I have dozens of lines rehearsed for different situations so that I’m always prepared for my Chandler Bing moments)
So how did the rest of the day go after this? We went to physics which was neat because we actually become friends while lab partners in high school physics during senior year; make no mistake, I hated physics and still do, no matter the people I take it with. I also got a sneak peak at organic chemistry and I would like to confirm my suspicions that I will in fact be dying this summer as I take 2 semesters’ worth in 10 weeks. Feel free to send me death notes to my campus mailbox.
There’s not much more to say about my first real day off since the semester began. Sometimes you wake up with an insane idea and a few hours later you pull it all together and come through. I do think I used up all my good luck for the month/year; however, which means I’m probably not going to do great on the upcoming chem midterms. That’s completely cool though because if I do poorly enough, I’ll pull the average down and make you guys feel better about your scores.
In the words of a famous fictional character: “He’s the hero WashU deserves, but not the one it needs right now.So we’ll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he’s not our hero. He’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A dark knight.” – Police Commissioner Wrighton
I had a nice day off for a change. It is a shame because you guys who go to school with me probably won’t ever see me like this until the semester ends, but at that point you guys will go home so we’ll never really get to introduce ourselves.
Feel free to keep scrolling for more neat pics of Mizzou and me. Or exit out because you’re tired of my drivel. Either way you already increased my clicks and views numbers, suckers.
-Thanks for reading,