The Catastrophic (Mini) Last-Minute Books Meltdown (And How It Was Really NOT A Big Deal)

Okay internet people. Here’s the thing. When you’re in college working part time, money is a CONSTANT source of stress. Like. All the time. Like, asking myself whether buying food or shampoo is more important this week stress.

One of the books in question

Another important thing to know before you read on is something I’ve probably mentioned before–I tend to freak out about things in a very dramatic fashion. More often than not, it’s a massive overreaction to a minor problem. Sometimes, however, it’s a massive overreaction to something I never should have bothered to worry about in the first place.This morning I had one of those experiences. I actually wrote the first draft of this post DURING the episode. For the purposes of retaining the full effect of one of my anxiety induced panics, I leave the following, talking about my money related stresses, unaltered (forgive me). Note it originally followed the preceding paragraph:

“Which is why it’s kind of not cool when your professor posts a syllabus the night before class listing three books that were NOT posted on the bookstore website and which you were NOT notified about previously. I mean. It’s three books. 45 dollars, on Amazon. But it’s enough to send a girl into a total tailspin when she’s been eying her bank account sadly for the past three days because she’s already bought $105 worth of groceries, paid $90 in school fees, and $50 for her parking pass. Not to mention the (admittedly decent) $200 she has ALREADY spent on books. And the 20 she owes her roommates for cumulative purchases. Oh, and the loan payment that’s coming up. What’s another $45, right?

Well, when it springs up on you, it seems like a lot. Especially when one of the books is impressively rare and you are going to need them all by Tuesday, so far as you can tell from the syllabus. No big deal, right? Wrong.

I’m not saying I eternally condemn this professor for his actions. He’s teaching the course, he’s entitled to decide which materials we need. Hell, he’s entitled to decide he wants us to write our short stories on sheets of solid gold…” (I had to get that solid gold bit in there before cutting off the original post… it made me laugh).

Why was this freaking out over nothing? For one, it WAS only roughly 50 dollars (after shipping and handling). But for another, when I arrived in class with my wonderful professor, he explained the situation to us and I learned why there were so few copies remaining on Amazon–our professor BOUGHT the books and had them waiting in the back of his car for us (not even REMOTELY sketchy, right?). Of course he expects us to pay him back (7 dollars per book–significantly less pricey). But what a wonderful, kind, and reasonable thing to do. 

All that freaking out and, lo and behold, all I ended up having to do was traipse across campus with my entire class and our professor and be handed things out of the trunk of his car (again, not sketchy). I guess I might also have to apologize to the milk and cheerios I so rudely slammed on the table in my “last minute book list” induced rage, but at the end of the day, it’s just a relief to know that once again I got myself all stressed out over nothing. Maybe I’ll learn from it this time? But probably not.


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