Sweeping away the irritation

Anney Jang

Spring has finally announced its presence on campus. Sunny daffodils are stretching their limbs after a long winter, the last remnants of dirty gray snow have long melted away to leave room for minty blades of grass and pale legs the color of vanilla pudding are emerging under short skirts, begging to be butterscotched. Students are romping outdoors like frisky puppies that have been crated for months, revelling in the warm breeze and clear skies. The whistles and chirps of birds mingle with laughter and happy shouts.

But don’t let the merriness fool you; it’s all a façade. What lies beneath is a bouillabaisse of resentment and rage, ready to boil over. Students all over campus are busy nursing grievances.

It’s time for a spring cleaning. Let’s find out what annoyances are bugging University students this spring in hopes of weeding them out of our environment. I’ll go first.

The stars have aligned as I knew they would. Jude Law and I have somehow ended up alone on a park bench in Central Park.

“Let me give you my number. Call me sometime,” he says, a pen and pad of paper popping up magically in his hand. I peer over his shoulder, reciting the precious numbers in my head.



The digits suddenly dissolve into nothingness.


No Jude Law. No Central Park. Just a horrible ringing.

A fire drill. At 2:30 in the morning. When there is clearly no fire. Infuriating.

Twenty minutes later, I am back in bed, my pillow damp from the moisture my hair collected standing outside in the mist. I toss and turn for hours, mumbling curses under my breath, too angry to fall back asleep.

I am not the only one who hates fire drills.

“They disrupt my life,” junior Megan Mukai said. “There hasn’t been anything I haven’t been doing which hasn’t been disrupted by a fire drill. Sleeping, eating, enjoyable TV programs . . . it’d be one thing if there were an actual fire!”

“True that homie,” said Karina Van Der Plas, a fellow junior whose shower has been interrupted by past fire drills. “I got shampoo in my eyes because I got startled.” She leans forward to show me her injury.

“Look, it’s still red.”

Indeed it is. A senseless accident.

Other students, when encouraged, came forward with their own list of complaints:

People who swallow loudly irritate junior Jason Lepore.

Disrespect and people who slam doors for no reason aggravate senior Tim Watson.

Papers and presentations annoy junior Joe Baker.

My research shows that 24 out of 25 students are more incensed when they are bothered when sleeping than when eating. When asked why she chose eating, Van Der Plas said, “I really don’t know. Maybe I was hungry at the time.”

Clearly, it can’t be healthy to keep all this anger internalized. Dr. Melissa S. Terlecki of the psychology department explains that bottling up resentment can turn to stress, which can affect your body by weakening the immune system.

Terlecki herself is vexed by high gas prices that have many drivers hopping mad because, as she says, “Everyone has to travel.”

Students were also protective of their money. Eighteen out of 25 students found being asked for money by strangers was more bothersome than being asked to take a survey.

“Because surveys are free,” says one student.

But be careful where you step on campus. Eighteen out of 25 students would be angrier if someone stepped on their brand new shoes than if a bird pooped on their freshly washed car.

How you step on campus seemed to bother some as well.

“I hate when people walk really slowly in front of you and they don’t let you pass,” says Van Der Plas.

Did venting all her anger made her feel better?

“Yeah, a little,” Van Der Plas said, “but it also reminded me of other things that annoy me.”