I am Patrick's freshman year

    Our Fresh Frosh columnists will be spending the year documenting their transition from high school to Northwestern life. Check out all four of our writers — and read their stories.

    Oreos: Enabling this writer’s deteriorating eating habits. Photo by izzie_whizzie on Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons.

    I am Patrick’s intensified capacity for chronic procrastination.

    His digital meandering. His trivial Googling. His rarely fulfilled self-imposed deadlines. Approximately two months ago, our infamous relationship was at a healthy stage; the glorious conclusion of secondary education had eased long-standing tensions. He could invariably confront me, discuss a final means of suppression and perhaps even consider dissociation. But the autumn onset of more commitments only strengthened the once-withering roots of our lifetime bond. We became inevitably closer, huddling for mutual warmth into early-morning diversions. We began streaming Hulu episodes together, feverishly downloading obscure mash-ups, regurgitating those timeless fibs of productivity — “Right after this, sweetheart, I’m starting” — and generally avoiding any efficiency whatsoever. It didn’t matter. We’d do it Later. And if Later barely suffices, maybe Later Later. I’m not going to lie: It feels good to be back.

    I am Patrick’s deteriorating nutritional habits.

    He was a savvy consumer, given his cohort’s digestive notoriety. I’d gesture for his presence in this conversation, but he’s visibly preoccupied, obliterating leftover Giordano’s in a vicious hailstorm of crust flurries. Next he’s submerging Double Stuf Oreos into a peanut butter abyss. My objections are rarely registered, drowned out by the occasionally thunderous Willard microwave as it reactivates a heaping medley of Joy Yee’s. He allows certain concessions, though, for which I’m half-heartedly grateful. We managed to approach the Hinman salad bar on multiple occasions — the fourth instance produced an actual grasp for the lettuce tongs. However, he has a peculiar affinity for the antithetical salad — trail mix on a measly vegetation bed, if you will. Sodexo is clearly an enabler in this sluggish process, and we devote needless hours to selecting what’s not greasily oozing, rigidly stale or even identity-ambiguous. And if no offering arouses his quickly narrowing appetite? Well, there are always secondhand Edzo’s garlic fries in the dorm fridge. It’s a vicious cycle.

    I am Patrick’s nearly nonexistent sleeping patterns.

    I could also be Patrick’s average Saturday wake-up time of 3 p.m. Or his unintentional all-nighter — on the same weekend, nonetheless. I could be his perplexingly random doze-off locations. A core library study room. A Bloomington, Ind. Taco Bell. Just about any vantage point in Tech LR2, professor Theodore Christov’s aggressive napping-exploitation tactics be damned. Sure, Patrick was similarly neglectful of routine slumber in high school. Senior year was a stage one snoozefest punctuated by only the intermittent AP Psychology teacher, who boasted a novel philosophy: Education is a conscious process. But now the shut-eye unconcern transcends all previous attitudes. Sleep experts claim that those who slumber between 6.5 and 7.5 hours per night live the longest, but Patrick and I wholly disregard this foolish statistic. We’ll leave lifetime longevity up to the theatre majors.

    I am Patrick’s smarmy self-awareness, his contrived third-person ID and his feeble attempt at emulating an already timeworn Chuck Palahniuk motif. I am also ravenously starving and dangerously fatigued, but I’ll take care of those silly impulses later. Like Later Later.


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