“Where did my files go?”
Phrases like the one above, and many more, run through my head as I try to search for my flight itinerary I printed several days ago. Though there are still almost two more weeks until I actually need it, the sense of hurry has already dawned upon me. For out-of-staters and technically international students like me, moving out seems to be a big deal. And no wonder, given the amount of traffic the university would definitely see during the last hectic week of finals.
I flip around the drawers one last time and finally pull out the crumpled sheet of paper. How had it gotten there? It must’ve crept beneath all of my notes for ECON 101, as I had just dug them out to finally start studying. There are piles of foodstuffs and books still left untouched beneath my bed. I look at the flight time: 26 hours and counting. It doesn’t bode well, especially not after an eight-o’clock exam — who came up with the idea of those, anyway?
I look around my room and start realizing just how much stuff I’ve accumulated over the year. That cabinet was definitely not there at the beginning of the semester. Why do I have more shoes than I can pack? Why have my books increased exponentially in number? To top it all off, there is still a secret stash of Asian snacks my parents had sent me. That wasn’t going to be finished any time soon. Why did I think it was a good idea to say ‘Food? I want Pocky! Dozens of boxes!’ when I could’ve gotten it (admittedly, at a completely crazy price compared to Taiwan’s) here? The list is never ending. It seems like I will either have to throw out or eat half my things, or risk my boxes being strapped on top of someone’s car, spewing personal belongings left and right along the driveway. There are only so many things one can bring home, and most of my textbooks aren’t part of that to-do list. I sit down on my chair and sigh.
Slowly, I put the paper away and start typing. 48 hours until my final paper for the term is due (although ‘final’ isn’t exactly the right term, given the amount of writing we’re still expected to do over the course of these two weeks.) I am still sitting here surfing Tumblr and Skyping my friends about what I’ve planned for the summer. A trip to Japan. Internships. Babysitting for next year’s meal plan money. Soon enough, the essay will be all but forgotten, buried under multiple screens of IM chatboxes and travel websites. It is only later that night I dig it back up again, whispering multiple ‘I’m sorry’s’ as I hug the computer screen and set my heart on continuing the grueling process.