Some may think of us as a dysfunctional duo, but we like to think of ourselves as nerds with a sense of humour- and our misadventures, the souvenirs of our “wise” choices and time at Exeter. And, trust me on this one. There are a lot of souvenirs that we’re carrying back to our home, but our favorite one has been the story of the Cold Lomein and the Existential Crisis.
There are certain times where an alarm clock is useful. Accidentally setting the alarm to 3:30 a.m. and waking you up, is not one of those times. If the Devil had a job, it would be designing standard alarm clocks. Anyhow, I figured that my alleged insomniac of a friend would be reading a novel or watching cat videos on YouTube down the hallway.
To my surprise, I had caught her on one of the few nights when she actually slept. To her misfortune, I had decided to slip headphones over her ears and allow her to jerk awake, to the blaring sound of Kanye West.
It only took a few mumbled threats from her, stretching over half an hour as she slowly relented and agreed to come out of bed. After that, the situation rapidly plummeted downhill. Using our famed and infallible moral compasses, we came to the conclusion that we would drown our sorrows (and hunger pains) in Chinese takeout piled in the basement fridge. With that, we crept down the stairs, hissing occasionally at each other to be quieter. Which was at best, counterproductive, and at worst, had the potential to awaken the rest of our dorm. We began to shove lo-mein up our faces.
Soon, realizing how dubious we would look if anyone walked in on us. I imagined myself frantically trying to talk my way out of a confrontation with the “I promise, we’re not selling drugs! It’s not what it looks like! ” Or yelling some other non-relevant excuse, as I tried to cover up the fact that we were eating noodles at 4 a.m.
At that point, I was beginning to seriously question our morals and or priorities. After minutes of piling noodles in our mouths in silence, I finally gathered my thoughts and pondered aloud “Is this what we are looking forward to in life, eating takeout at hours? Is this what we’ll be doing in university?”
Well, that was a mistake and a half, to say the very least. Apparently asking an existential question to Isabelle in the early hours would inherently lead to a heated argument which mainly consisted of myself posing deep and meaningful existential questions (or, at least, I like to think they were), and Isabelle would reply with something along the lines of “Shut up! You’re the one who used your deplorable decision making to drag me down here in the middle of the night! For all I know, you could be trying to kidnap me! This isn’t the time for me to fuss about your early mid-life crisis! Some of us are trying to eat frozen noodles, and if this is my future, then at the very least, please stop rambling!”
“Lesson learned,” I grumbled to myself, although grinning slightly inside. It’s nice to know that you’re not alone, even if your companion was snapping back at all your existential questions while drinking away her sorrows with cups of Earl Grey.
But all the small vignettes of memories that Isabelle and I had shared were like puzzle pieces. As our time at Exeter nears an end, the full meaning has finally been revealed to us. Exeter is the second home for us, with every nook and cranny full of curiosity and fleeting but hilarious memories that we had made together. Perhaps it is strange that we had started casually referring to Exeter as “home” so soon, but the truth is the truth. Exeter feels like home, and, as cheesy as it is, it’s like what Dorothy says: There’s no place like home.