Upon entering his Econ 111 lecture Thursday morning, late arrival Chris Young was faced with the difficult choice of whether to squeeze by eight classmates in order to take the last available seat in the middle of an aisle, or go to the bathroom and kill himself.
“When I woke up late, I thought, maybe I’ll be okay,” says Young. “Then I saw the whole lecture was full, and that’s when I started sweating profusely.”
Young, a sophomore in LS&A who prides himself on his academic achievements, points out that he is normally fifteen minutes early. But after entering the lecture today, he realized it had already commenced, and surveyed the hall for any possible aisle seats. Unfortunately for Young, none were available.
“I only had two options and both were equally embarrassing,” Young recalled, staring into the distance. “Sure, I would be letting down my friends and family by making them grieve over my sudden and unexplained suicide, but if they ever had to climb over an entire row of judging 20 year olds with MacBooks on their laps, they’d understand.”
Not thinking clearly, Young began to walk down the aisle, thereby drawing the attention of students looking for any excuse to ignore another dull Econ lecture. “I panicked,” Young says. “I got to the fifth aisle, saw an empty spot in the middle, and debated whether reaching the seat was worth the embarrassment of crawling over all the students.”
Tim McGowan, who arrives early each day to assure a seat in the back row, witnessed the entire scene. “It was a train wreck,” says McGowan.
“This kid isn’t exactly skinny, you could tell he was sweating, and he just had nowhere to go. I thought about calling out for help, giving him some sort of advice, but I just didn’t,” McGowan whispers, staring down at his palms. “I’ll always ask myself why I didn’t help. I guess I’m just not a hero.”
As Young stood at the end of the row, he considered his options. “I could awkwardly stagger towards the open seat, I could just leave the class, or I could just find a stall, slit my wrists, and go down easy,” says Young. “But eventually I just made my way to the open seat. It sucked, and I definitely considered the suicide route, but we have an exam next week. Can’t fall behind.”
McGowan says he is proud of how Young handled the situation, and personally approached Young after class to show support. “Well, and to ask him for his notes,” says McGowan. “I’m really fucked for that exam.”
Originally Published March 2014