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Catching the Z’s

As college students, we know just how far we can push our bodies before sleep overwhelms us. Energy drink companies have made billions of dollars capitalizing on the idea that college students simply do not sleep. On and around campus there are coffee shops waiting for the zombie-esque student to coming walking in and mumble some incomprehensible phrase that can only be understood after many mornings of working as a barista.

That being said, when sleep does finally sneak up and knock you out, all students have their preferred sleep location on campus. Entering U.T. as a freshman I could never imagine myself sleeping in public, in a chair that I have no clue who sat there before me, with the occasional mouth open and even rarer moments of drool. However, I quickly learned just how great those moments were.

Everybody has their preferred sleep location. Some students prefer one of the libraries, some prefer the now dead grass that is on the South Mall below the Tower, and then there is the union.

I am not sure who had the great idea of putting the overstuffed chairs (slightly bigger than a recliner but not quite love-seat status) outside of the ballroom in the union but may God truly bless them in their life. In no way am I being sarcastic. I love the simplicity of finding two chairs, pushing them together, and crawling into your little burrow of comfort.

It still makes me laugh thinking of the first time that actually became an official Union Sleeper. I was paranoid that somebody was going to come up while I was asleep and rob me of all my possessions, which at the time included a biology book, spiral notebook and some pens. So, with the fear of being one of those victims on campus, I intertwined my arms into the straps of my backpack and put it in beside me. Now, as you can probably tell from my silhouette that you clicked on to get to this point, I am not the smallest person in the world but by golly, there was no way I would be getting robbed in my sleep.

It did not matter though, the sleep was wonderful and I found my third home (first being my dorm room, second being the U.T. Learning Center).

I have come a long way since then, now just putting my bag at my feet and crashing into my coma. Let me take a brief moment here to say that this is not the smartest decision and that you may want to be more protective of your stuff than I am. Thefts do occur on campus and I do not want to be referenced as the reason somebody no longer has their preferred technological device.

Building on the subject that students are often sleep deprived and that when we do sleep it is a glorious thing; NEVER WAKE US UP! If you have ever seen a college student be awakened by a loud person on their phone, somebody watching a movie on their computer, or simply walking too loudly; then you understand the imminent danger that the person has put themselves in. There are different types of reactions to awakened college students that I have personally noticed:

1) The glare. The glare comes when the student is now awake but does not have the energy to move or say anything. Strong enough to pierce the skull and melt metal, the glare is the first sign that you have awaken a sleeping giant. Often times, when the person being loud catches the glare they instantly know what they have done and scurry away to avoid further pain.

2) The comment. The comments come when the glare did not work. Often times these can occur without the person even knowing you are talking to them. Which though renders the act pointless, makes the student feel better knowing that they have voiced their concern. Now this part can be broken down into subgroups:

2A) The courtesy comment. This is when the person just says, “be quiet” or “hush” or “keep it down.” Often this is the step taken when the person being loud is an older adult or a person that you know.

2B) The rude comment. This is the more extreme. Rude comments come when vulgarities are thrown into the mix and you do not care who you are talking to. I will refrain from giving examples of these but just take whatever words may be censored on television and get creative.

3) Direct confrontation. The final act, when you have awakened the student that has recently pulled a mid-term allnigher, had a funfilled weekend, or simply has the annoying roommate that does not permit sleep. This is when things get personal and ugly. I have seen a student get up and approach somebody that was being annoying and it got a little nasty. Of course, this leads to other students being woke up and then you have a mob of recently awakened students.

Needless to say, sleeping college students should come with a warning label or some kind of sign saying “Imminent danger!” “Do not make eye contact!” “Walk away slowly!” I think it would be safe to say that whatever steps you may take when confronted by some wild animal like a bear or lion, take the same steps to save yourself from the sleeping college student.

Now I am fixing to find my chairs in the union. G’night!


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October 13, 2011 | | Comments are closed for this post
photo of Landon