As exam season approaches and students begin their semi-annual emotional spiral, many search for outlets to relieve stress and take their mind off the looming, loaded stretch ahead. This fear can spur students into searching for new and unique ways to “take their mind off things,” like chasing their roomba around the house for exercise, or unraveling the conspiracy theories regarding sexual themes in Disney movies.
However, evidently, none of these methods compare to the emotional relief provided by staring at a dog for 20 minutes in the Junior Common Room of University College.
This is where I come in. The hearts of students and staff alike melt at the sight of yet another oversized, red bandanna-clad beagle. I bark, I howl, I give paw, and still, I feel like no one really hears what I’m trying to say.
It is day six of my campus-wide ‘stress-be-gone’ tour and I’m just fucking done. Day in and day out these delusional, wide-eyed students come to “take a break” from studying, yet they enter with no backpacks and an alarming misunderstanding of course material.
Last week I overheard one student, in a suit no less, claim that Francis Fukuyama was really “onto something” when he penned The End of History. Barking, I yelled, “go fucking study you god-damn idiots! HIS344 is, like, a 30% final and you have a 28! What are you doing here?!”
Students tell me to go fetch a ball; I howl at them to “go catch a fucking passing grade you idiot!” They never hear me.
My job is made all the more difficult by biting the hand that feeds me. Somehow, these students always seem to have my favourite treat in hand making me instantly forget my mission. How they have conspired to take me off course and derail my agenda is an op-ed for another day.
Due to the emotional difficulty of the job, I’ve been told that I am the 14th ‘Bella’ to come to the university. The job has taken a toll on my predecessors to the point that they are numb to the taste of treats and haven’t fetched a ball in months.
This school has destroyed the good boys I knew all too well.
I fear as though my counselling efforts are going completely unnoticed and are failing to touch the students who need it most. I’ve been pressured by the administration to just roll over on this issue, but I can’t sit still while the leaders of tomorrow pat themselves into a stupor.