If I Were A Campus Tour Guide…


Walking out of class most days I’ll cross paths with a campus tour guide,

giving their barely-paid spiel to the unsuspecting parents and students,

about how star-studded awesome this university is.

I always smile, just a bit when I see them,

because you see I have this great fever dream, 

of just skipping up behind them, 

clearing my throat in a really gross way, and screaming


And then flashing them my signature smile and skipping away.

I don’t blame the tour guides,

they are just doing their jobs. 

I wouldn’t last one day though,

not just because being peppy for stretches of time makes me a bit nauseated,

but because I wouldn’t be able to help myself.

Oh I’d give them a tour alright, I’d put on one hell of a show.

Welcome to our school!

This place can teach you a lot,

but really you’re going to have to figure out a lot on your own, too.

Don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it. Sort of.

We will start in Monroe Park,

where I would say,

oh would you look at those lovely trees, all these lovely relaxed people. 

And of course the overwhelming smell of the lovely grass,

really breathe in that nature, cause your kids will smell it

nonstop every time they walk through this park for the next four years.

Even when they go there at 8 a.m.

Gotta love that consistency.

Now to your left parental units, is G.R.C.

Although a friend did convince me that we should address the building,

not by its acronym, but its name.

He called it “girk.”

For in those dorms and others your children will witness

the shared pain of you and your neighbors walking up ten floors after a fire drill.

The shedding walls, the moldy showers, and the oddness,

of waking up on a Sunday morning needing to take a piss

and finding every toilet seat covered in vomit.

I was feeling quite out of it in that bathroom once, 

and someone stuck their head out of the opposing shower to ask if I was alright.

To this day I’m unsure if that was real.

Then, of course, there are the academic buildings.

This is a school where your students will learn many things,

like how to calculate grade percentages so they will know

how bad they can f**ck up the final and still pass.

But the facilities are exceptional.

Witness my first, second and third chemistry lab. 

Where our vacuum filters leak some sort of disgusting blue fluid.

And there is that very comfortable bench outside the old life sciences building,

where I had my first mental breakdown. And my fiftieth.

I can’t tell you much about the new STEM building, 

I’ve yet to have a class in there, 

although it’s apparently the promised land for STEM students.

No one comes on a campus tour to see classrooms anyways,

no, they come for the vibes,

to imagine themselves here.

So I’d show them the fountain in the park,

where my first real friends in college and I had a deep half-drunk conversation,

that was interrupted by someone asking if we were on acid, 

and if yes, would we share?

The memories of running out of breath on floor eight of G.R.C.,

only to pull myself and my two future roommates up to the tenth.

The weird dorm room parties, with some of the best people,

drinking illicit alcohol out of mugs, cause we didn’t own cups yet.

Running out of broke buildings, from failed tests

but with friends, talking about how I’d see them later that night for the

consolation kickback.

All the ways I’ve really forwarded my education.

All the things I’ve learned like,

there’s no shame in failing tests,

one bad conversation with a good friend will haunt you more than any bad grade,

you can’t control what you can’t control, so just stop trying, and

sometimes doing nothing is absolutely the answer.

Try to remember that nothing here can make or break you.

Not permanently at least.

So we hope you come to our school!

This place can teach you a lot,

but really you’re going to have to figure out a lot on your own, too.

Don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it. Sort of.

And this is the part of the tour where I’m pulled aside by Rao and fired.

So worth it though.

Graphic Design by Natalie Uhl