I should have known to expect the unexpected on Halloween Eve. I put on my cheetah-print pajamas and climbed in bed for the night, ignoring the warning a girl dressed as a sexy black cat had given me earlier.

“Halloween is a marathon, be prepared,” the cat told me. “Be. Prepared.”

It was a warning I laughed at. It was a warning I didn’t take seriously. It was a warning well-spoken by an Elon University upperclassman who knew better than a freshman.

Unluckily for me, I didn’t remember her and her warning until I found myself running across campus, cheetah-print pajamas and all, at 3 a.m.

It all began when I planned to attend a Breast Cancer Awareness walk in Greensboro with Colleges Against Cancer Halloween morning. I had an early wake-up call, and I had decided to turn in early on Halloween Eve to conserve energy.

But a series of mishaps involving a puppy, a roommate’s twisted ankle, an ibuprofen-caused stomach irritation and a snoring temporary roommate forced me out of my bed and into the costumed chaos of Halloween Eve.

It was a little bad luck, but I’m sure I’m wasn’t the only one to encounter minor disruptions that night. I’m sure there were plenty of other students around Elon staring at the ceiling, wishing the pregame in their suite would end. I’m sure of it.

So, to those of us who seek sleep: When life gives you lemons, make pumpkin soup. We simply need to handle the inconvenience with grace and class.

I darted across campus — without shoes — from Danieley to Sloan, where a friend promised a spare bed, girls screaming “We're cheetah girls cheetah sisters” at the sight of my obnoxious cheetah-print pajamas all the way there.

On arriving at Sloan, I found the dorm room inhabited by five other people — a get-together in the room of what was supposed to be my bed for the night. Awkwardly introducing myself and babbling an explanation of my situation, I ran out of the room faster than a cheetah.

Only as I left did I realize that one of the girls was dressed as a sexy black cat.

Each direction I turned, a sexy black cat seemed to stand waiting for me, arching its back and blocking the path with a flash of an evil eye. Why weren’t responsible actions enough to deserve a decent night’s sleep? I realized Halloween weekend was completely out of an individual Elon student’s control, and those of us staying in for the night would have to dodge the superstitions to the best of our ability

Three phone calls later, I finally crashed at a friend’s dorm at HBB and unfortunately slept past the time the cancer walk had ended. So much for resting up for the Breast Cancer Awareness walk.

This sleepless night taught me that Acting responsibly doesn’t always guarantee a productive — or restful — weekend. Whether you believe in superstitions or not, sometimes life — in the form of black cats — messes with our perfectly aligned schedules, plans and obligations. Life doesn't always run smoothly. Instead of fixating on what we can’t control, we must instead maintain a flexible schedule and adjust to circumstances.

But I’m not going to lie — if I see another sexy black cat any time soon, I just might scream as if I’d seen a ghost on Halloween night.


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