Ferris Booth Commons, I am in you. I am inside, always lurking, always standing still in line for…something. I don’t know what yet.

Ferris Booth Commons, I am here, in you, for the fifth time this week (it’s…Thursday now, I guess)—I seem to find myself back here all the time. I feel welcomed by the open doors. I am penetrating the barrier between the non-committals staring into you outside the glass windows, and the loyalists weaving through the inefficiently placed tables. I am seeking engorgement from the unlimited servings of whatever food I desire: chana masala with rice and naan, a buffalo chicken wrap, a gooey quesadilla, or a classic spaghetti with pesto. I am IN you experiencing a mouth-watering sensation—a conditioned reaction to the service you’ve delivered since I was a child of 18.

Ferris Booth Commons, I am in you staring mindlessly into the orange and blue void as I nibble on a leaf of your spring mix. I tear apart a delightfully undercooked biscuit with my delicate little fingers, feeling enriched by your alimentary wonders. I rush to the pizza station, never once asking myself if I should have gone to Chef D—nay, I shan’t say it. I pick up my warm, ready-made slices. I brim with delight as the triangle of cheese, tomato, and bread approaches my mouth. I lose all sense of time as the self-selected food swirls around in my skull, and I drift into the ether. The endless, greasy, kind-of-mid ether.

Ferris Booth Commons I am IN you…and so are literally all the people I know. Seriously, like…I run into all these people I am sort of friends with and always have to say “hello” to literally everyone I see. I don’t know what it is about the luring siren call of Bad Bunny at 10 in the morning that brings all my social circles together in front of the breakfast station, but here we all are. Eye contact here is inevitable and hiding behind a pole in the service station is impossible, so I must engage in the cacophony of “Oh, hey! It’s you! Nice to see you!” ever-present in the belly of your corporeal form. You are a mystery, Ferris Booth Commons: a mystery I find myself wrapped up in every single day of my life at Columbia.

Ferris Booth Commons, I weep when it is Sunday, for you will not let me in you. But I understand: you are a divine figure—a spiritual, governing force over my mind and spirit—and Sunday is a designated day of rest. I wail and scream and stare through the glass doors with blood-shot eyes, waiting for the day the lights will turn on, the stools will flip over, and the vats of unseasoned scrambled eggs are ready for serving yet again. I am in you in spirit, Ferris Booth Commons, and I refuse on instinct to eat anywhere else on Sundays.

Ferris Booth Commons, the food is arguably not that good, but I am still here, in you. I am stomping around in my little boots and perpetually sitting in your chairs, and I have the weekly menu memorized. I am entranced by your vibes—hypnotized by the blaring pop music—and I have discovered that the workers listen to playlists not radios, for I have once been in you long enough to hear the same songs loop not once, but thrice.

Ferris Booth Commons, I am IN you.

Student in Ferris via Author