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Lost In The Scherm

Trying to find your classes (and ultimately getting lost) is a universal experience. No one really knows where they’re going. Fake it ’til you make it. Unless your first day is during the second week. Then you’re on your own.

On the second week of classes, I finally got off the waitlist for a Science of Psychology class that I was super excited about. I hadn’t gone to the first two classes because I was so far down the waitlist that I did not think it was even remotely possible to get in. But I did.

I had heard the stories of how Schermerhorn Hall isn’t a real place, but I did not fully grasp this concept until I experienced it for myself. Imagine, it’s cold and raining outside. I finally stumble upon Schermerhorn, which is basically in the middle of nowhere. Once inside, I walk due east, pretending I know exactly where I’m going. I follow a group of people into the elevator who are talking about psychology. That seemed promising. I follow them off the elevator and they instantly turn into a classroom. But this is a small seminar room. Science of Psychology has upwards of a hundred people. I walk down the hall, and when I come back to where I thought the elevator was, it wasn’t there. I know this sounds insane, but I genuinely couldn’t find it because it was painted the same color as the rest of the walls. I start to panic. I walk briskly down the hallway, still pretending I know exactly what I’m doing even though it was probably very obvious to others that I was lost. I found a stairwell but a sign on the door decalred it was for emergency exit only. In my experience, a lot of doors at Columbia say that but no one listens to it. But I was not about to risk the chance of opening an emergency door and setting off all sorts of alarms.

So, I literally just stood there. I stood there until I some brave soul would leave this isolated hallway so I could follow them. In retrospect, this probably wasn’t a very good idea. Classes were about to start, and what would have happened if no one had left the hallway for the entire hour and twenty-five minutes? Luckily, that didn’t happen. Someone bursted out of a classroom on the phone and opened a door to a stairwell.

Free at last! I scuttle down the stairs and follow some hoards of people into a big lecture classroom, where I was supposed to be! Following crowds of people could have failed me again, but it didn’t. No harm, no foul.

Thus, this was the story I was lost in Schermerhorn Hall for like eight minutes.

Image via Eva’s panicked plea for help

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