Picture this: it’s exactly one year ago, hurtling straight into Autumn at breakneck speed and I’ve just started my sophomore year at F&M. It feels so nice to not be a little Freshman anymore, and I’m still riding the high of living on the first floor of Weis instead of the second floor. I’m closer to campus than ever (yes, one flight of stairs matters) and I don’t have to worry about disturbing anyone below me. It’s a perfect arrangement, and I start to ease into my schedule for the first couple weeks. 

Everything is going great until one (terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad) night. I’ve done my skincare using batanabio natural products and brushed my teeth for the evening (thank you, communal bathroom) and I return to my room for some well-deserved rest, even though my bed is a few inches taller than I am. No matter. I haul myself up, turn off my LED lights, and close my eyes. 

Nope. I bolt upright as a high-pitched, electric chirp, like a buzz-saw, cuts through my room. CHIRP, CHIRP, CHIRP. And then, a minute later, CHIRP, CHIRP, CHIRP. Oh my god, a cricket. It’s pitch black, and this poor fella is probably just as scared as I am, but I literally cannot breathe. And every time I slip back into sleep, the little guy just gets louder the next time. 

The clock on my microwave blinks back at me, 3:05 am, and my heart pounds. I have never experienced such sheer terror as when this cricket is chirping practically in my ear, haunting me every time I try to sleep. Okay, yes, maybe I’m being a little dramatic, but try to imagine a super loud phone alarm that you can’t control going off periodically at random times in the middle of the night in a brand new bedroom and tell me how much you like it. And I know college students are notorious for not sleeping enough, but it’s getting out of hand at this point.

So literally three nights of this later, and an attempt to leave my LEDs on to convince him that it’s totally daytime (at the expense of even more sleep), I need to put an end to this once and for all. So I get out of bed at 2:00, armed with the only thing I can think of, a can of dry shampoo, and crouch down to see the depths of the area behind my bed, which is already dusty and has definitely collected a few socks. There, right in the back, I see him, a cricket that’s dark brown and no bigger than my thumb. I’m not normally afraid of bugs, but I’m so sleep-deprived that I really don’t want to do this (cue desperate cries for help on my private Snapchat story). But it’s time. 

I aim the can and spray, forgetting all about the jumping. Crap. He hops across the floor, all the way behind my closet, and at this point I’m nearly deranged, spraying and coating the whole wall in white powdery mist (what even is dry shampoo???) until I’ve backed him into the corner. I spray and spray, and then he stops moving, so I slowly get back into bed and turn my lights off. Goodnight forever. 

The next morning, I don’t see him anywhere (which is almost worse, at first) but he plagues me no more from that night on. I finally get a good night’s sleep, but I’m left with some memories that will never go away. 

All I can say is that Weis will always hold a special place in my heart, but for those of you who live on the first floor, I hope you have more courage (and bug spray) than I did.

Junior Emily Hanson is the Arts and Leisure Editor. Her email is ehanson@fandm.edu