It’s finals week at UNCC, and the weak are quickly being weeded out. From sleep deprivation to a mental breakdown every time the school Wi-Fi crashes, students face the toughest time of the semester. For sophomore Robert Bennett, however, exam week held a glimmer of excitement and fun in what would have otherwise been a boring week with all his friends “studying or whatever,” as he returned to a surprising sight at his dorm after a weekend of binge-drinking.
Streamers and balloons hung from the ceiling and lines of Bennett’s empty beer bottles (from the recycling bin he’d consistently filled but never once emptied) proudly decorated every inch of counter space. Standing in front of the door were Bennett’s three suite mates, holding a homemade cake that read, “You kinda tried: Congratulations, College Dropout!”
Overwhelmed with emotion and eyes unnaturally glassy, Bennett stopped scrolling through YikYak to add a Snapchat to his story, stating, “#thanksfam.”
“It’s the least we could do after he had the fire department called on us three times for smoking weed in his room,” said one of the roommates, grinning as he lit the candles on Bennett’s cake.
“Or that time we had to call 911 and talk to the police after we found him lying in a pool of his own bloody vomit,” said David Reggie, a fellow sophomore and nervous computer science major. “I didn’t think campus life after the learning communities of Lynch would be this… eye opening.”
At the start of the semester, when the randomly assigned roommates were still scoping one another out as psychos or potential friends, Reggie recalled being “so shocked” to learn that Bennett was on academic probation from the previous year. After catching Bennett reading a threatening email from the Dean’s office which warned of mid-term failure, the three roommates had already begun to plan their roommate’s going away party.
“Bennett’s an alright guy,” one of his roommates expressed. “I was worried that when he stopped going to class in October that he would laze around here all the time. Thankfully, he found a crowd even worse than him and I only had to see him when he came back to shower and destroy the bathroom. His guests were pretty respectful too — they were usually too fucked up to talk.”
Along with the cake and balloons, the roommates already printed out his housing cancellation form, ticking off the boxes labeled “Academic Suspension” and “Withdrawing from the University.”
“They really thought of everything,” Bennett choked, smiling fondly at the roommates he had barely interacted with this semester.
When asked if he would make use of reading day this Thursday to at least attempt to study for his upcoming exams in a final attempt to save his grades and college career, Bennett looked offended. “I’m definitely gonna catch up on some sleep after Midnight Breakfast and then head to the library. I’m not missing out on dog therapy.”
When asked if he would actually make any effort to stay, he shrugged apathetically, the true Niner way. “I’ve already collected my refund check, there’s nothing at UNCC to make me stay.”