Syrac-ew: day two and campus is already bugging me

A Jersey girl finds herself surrounded by a giant swarm of gnats after a long second day of class. Hilarity ensues.

I had a long day. Don’t get me wrong – it was a fulfilling “day two” of learning and getting back into the swing of things, but it was also an early-to-leave, late-to-return kind of Tuesday for me.

I was walking from Newhouse 3 towards the bus stop, tired, hungry and catching up on some text replies, only glancing up every now and then to admire the beautifully sunbathed buildings that lay atop our wonderful hill.

In my periphery, I noticed something glistening in the sunlight, and thought nothing of it. A strand or two of my hair, I guessed. There was a breeze in the air, after all.

Texting, walking – I was in front of the Hall of Languages before I knew it. It was then that I realized it was no hair of mine, but rather, hundreds – maybe thousands – of tiny (but big enough) gnats.

Picture a warm summer’s evening (last week) taking a post-dinner walk with some friends. You find yourself suddenly walking through a little swarm of tiny black fliers that you have no idea how you didn’t spot beforehand. Midway through, you’ve found yourself too far in to turn back, so you commit to making it to the other side, quiver for a second and move on.

It was kind of like that – only it didn’t end.

A group of girls in front of me were squealing and laughing and shooing the bugs away. “This is so gross,” one said.

I agreed. I wish some of my friends were there so I could have carried on as much as I normally would have.

It was disgusting.

But you have to play it cool when you’re walking solo, you know?

And then I got to the bus stop.

Dozens of students stood waiting for a bus that felt like it would never appear, looking nothing short of foolish waving their hands in front of their faces or flicking the tiny buggers off of their bare arms, or jean-clad legs.

I couldn’t help but laugh – though disgusted and nearly crawling out of my skin – at how ridiculous people looked. A small crowd (me and maybe two others) even went so far as to run onto the bus when it finally got there just to escape the invasion.

Is it the weather? Is it that time of year? I mean, listen – I’m from Jersey, and I like to think that I’ve seen things that should never be seen. That being said, I have never seen anything like what I saw this evening in my entire life.

For all the Harry Potter fans out there, it was like that time when Harry and his classmates found themselves in a classroom with dozens of blue, winged Cornish pixies flittering around every-which-way, and – until Hermione spoke “Immobulus!” – all they could do was dodge, dip, dive, duck and dodge.

I’ll disclaim right here at the end that I’m a very easily freaked/skeeved/psyched out person. I still scream for my mom or dad to come kill the spider in my room, and still run like there’s a fire beneath me if a bee comes within a few inches of my chartreuse-colored shirt.


But really -- Bug Swatting 101? I did gnat sign up for this.

Photo: Allie Caren

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