In the half-light of your dorm, you’ve scrambled through at least five different outfits. Throwing on this, trying on that. Eventually you have settled (and by settled I mean you ran out of time) on jeans and a blue oxford. Then you spend a good ten minutes buttoning and unbuttoning the front of said oxford, desperately trying to match up the two sides. You lace up your one pair of non-holey Chucks, double deodorize and grab a mint. You’ve spent the past twenty minutes preening yourself to the best of your ability.
I mean, shoot, you even combed your hair.
Having finished working on your appearance, you step out of your dorm; the next few minutes are split between transit and trying not to throw up. You think about how you’ll present yourself.
First things first, the handshake. Do you give them a good strong handshake; let them you know you mean business? Maybe not. You don’t want them thinking you’re some kind of beastie with the strength of ten thousand men in one hand. Okay. Maybe you give a weaker one, inflate their ego? One of those “Oh look how strong you are, you must be pretty great” things. Then again, it’s not like you’re trying to get a date with them. Besides they might read that as, you’re a spineless wuss. Shit. Forget it.
Ok what else? Words. Use your words.
They’re gonna ask you questions. You need to have answers ready. They’ll ask things like, what’s your name? And you’ll say: …Um. Okay try this one: What year are you? Uhhh. Goddamn. Never mind. You clearly haven’t mastered the English language yet. You’ll just have to wing it, because suddenly you are at their office. Great. You are not even kind of ready. Whatever. Shine anyway. Enter that interview like a champ.
The actual conversation is a blur, probably some kind of primal defense mechanism. If you can’t remember it, it didn’t happen. If it didn’t happen, it couldn’t have been horrible. That way you can finally Stop. Freaking. Out.
Spend the next two days over-eating and perspiring uncontrollably.
Finally the day arrives; class rosters are announced. Breathe. This is your time. Pull out your laptop. Have your roommate hold your hand. Open a new browser window. Type: www.my…myspace.com? No. What? Bad Firefox! Stop trying to help. Just no. Ugh…www.my.slc.edu. Ready? Go! Loading…loading…loading. Why is this taking so long? Why does everyone else and their sister need to know their classes right now? Okay. Username and password. Student tab. Evaluations. And…
…what? You got….BUMPED?
But. But. But you totally clicked with the professor. They laughed at your jokes. It was great. What gives? They put you on their priority list. THEY LIED.
All of a sudden the world is collapsing at the speed of sound. You banked everything on landing that class. Nothing will ever be right again. Ever.
Cue ice cream and tears. This is worse than prom. Commence melting into the ground and sobbing uncontrollably. No not really. That would be silly. Wait till you’re in your room alone to do it. Don’t let them see you hurt. Until then stand in your dorm, feeling lopsided and awful. Mope about. Eat Ramen. Console yourself with thoughts like, “the class you’ll end up getting may be way better than this one” and “that professor had a stupid haircut anyway.”
Try not to be negative. Keep busy. Clean your desk. Do your laundry. Unpack that one box left over from move-in day. Consider writing your professor an angry email, in which you call them amongst other things, “a big poop.” Realize how immature that would be. Save it as a draft just in case. Go back to processing your emotions. You really wanted that class. Now you just want to scream. You want to burn down Admissions and salt the ashes. You’re pretty sure you dazzled that professor. Pretty sure. Start doubting yourself. Did you say something? Did you have something in your teeth? Why don’t they love you back? Did you not actually go to the interview and the whole thing was actually a dream? Did you only DREAM of going to the interview??
Probably not. Relax. Everyone gets bumped at some point. And if they say they haven’t they’re lying to you (they probably got bumped and then transferred out for a semester so no one would know.) So just keep breathing. Not getting the classes you want is part of the academic experience of college. Life goes on. You’ll get in to another class and it’ll be fine. Just remember, the only thing worse than getting bumped is the alternative registration line outside Reisinger.
A Sophomore waiting in the alternative registration line outside Reisinger