I’m here to give you an all-inclusive, comprehensive, slightly erotic survival guide to get you through this week. 

First, I sit down at a desk and prepare to get to work. Not my own desk, because there are too many empty Svedka bottles on it, which are arranged by the colors of the rainbow. It’s a metaphor for gay pride, and also alcoholism. Then I try to explain to my roommate that I am masturbating at their desk because I don’t understand what an integer is and learning sometimes require vigorous physical stimulation. After clearing this up, I usually try to discern which textbooks I was supposed to have read for which classes. Upon discovering that I cannot cite SparkNotes in my final paper, I cry in the dorm lounge, not my room because my room is a safe space, for several hours. A few compassionate squirrels try to comfort me by bringing me nuts. One of them reminds me of my dead aunt Helen and I sob all the harder. 

Next, I meet with my TA and she tells me that my essay “has a lot to unpack,” that I show “a lot of potential,” and that I should “maybe, you know, consider switching majors.” She recommends STS, and upon getting back to my dorm I viciously murder all my succulents. Seeing their shredded stems and lacerated leaves, I am again reminded of dead aunt Helen and begin to cry. I explain to my roommate that I am crying at their desk because I have run out of socks to use. He hands me a tissue to blow my nose, but I misinterpret his kind gesture as a make-do sock and begin to masturbate. I hole myself up in Green Library and give myself brief, luxurious sponge baths in the bathroom while listening to the YouTube video playing too loud in the stall next to me.  I ask around about where I might find an oven or strong rope on campus.

 I open a book and feel accomplished. The feeling is short-lived. I watch videos of my friends at state schools partying and I think seriously about trying methamphetamine, or at least Juul. My TA, in a fit of frustration, refers to me as “a clingy little dumb bitch goat.”  I do not leave my dorm for several days and pretend to make flashcards while looking at stepfather porn on Tumblr while I still can. I leave my dorm to scream at people who are participating in primal scream. I apply to Menlo Junior College and Cornell in a fit of desperation.

Eventually, I take all of my exams and return home to tell everybody how much I love Stanford. My family and I discuss my raving academic success, fabulous mental health, and thriving succulent collection. 

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