1. Having literally any downtime
Is this only me? After a good day’s work, one in which you cross off every single item on your to-do list, it is still hard to just unwind and relax. Five minutes into the next episode of “The Office,” your mind wanders to that Social Psychology test in three weeks and how you could be using this time to get a head start on studying. Note that I’m only using the second person here to distance myself from the fact that this is also the reality of my life.
2. When you don’t say hi to that person you kind of, sort of know
What’s her name again? Sarah? Hannah? Katie? You had a philosophy discussion with her two semesters ago, and you talked to her two or three times. She wore a Giants shirt once, and you like the Giants. But when you saw her at Newcomb, you chose not to say hi to her. You both saw each other, and she didn’t say hi either, so why do you feel so guilty about this? You don’t know. You just do.
3. Using Tapingo at Subway
This guilt is two-fold. First of all, your friend told you that the Subway workers hate Tapingo orders because they disrupt the flow, and you’re not the type of person to disrupt somebody’s flow. You look to your right at the pick-up counter and see a line of at least 30 people. By the time the first 10 of those people order, Subway will be all out of Italian herb and cheese bread. You feel immensely powerful but also immensely guilty.
4. Arriving at Starbucks at 9:59 p.m.
This is kind of a personal anecdote. One time, I arrived at the Newcomb Starbucks at 9:58 p.m., not knowing that they closed at 10 p.m. Of course, I felt incredibly guilty watching them restart the cappuccino machine after I realized this. In this case, however, the guilt immediately subsided — it turns out that, right before closing, Starbucks employees give out old pastries that will otherwise be thrown out. And that cake pop tasted fantastic — sorry.
5. Literally any time you move at night
As a first-year with a roommate, it is suddenly a moral dilemma to go to the bathroom at night. Do you wake up your roommate by climbing down from your bed, putting on your shower shoes and trekking out into the hall? Or do you suffer in silence to protect your fellow man? If you hate your roommate, this is an easy choice. But I like mine, so I feel incredibly guilty that I do this on a regular basis. Sorry, Jonathan. But you snore, so it balances out.
6. Taking two portions at the dining hall
This is possibly the least-merited guilt on this list — meal plans are expensive, so we better get our worth out of them. What’s more, most of the dining hall food ranges from raw to medium-raw, so, on the rare occasion you find something that is delicious and desirable, you have the right to grab two portions. However, I find it hard to shake off guilt even here — guilt from the judgments of Newcomb employees, my peers and my doctor.
7. Being lame in front of tour groups
A line I’ll never forget from my tour guide, when I was visiting the University as a prospective student was “I chose U.Va. because, when I came, I never saw students walking with their earbuds in. Everyone was always talking to each other around Grounds.” As a result, I feel incredibly guilty — and lame — when I pass a tour guide with my earbuds in. Serves the tour guide right for outright lying, though — I mean, really?
8. Asking for no tomatoes at Rising Roll
Who likes tomatoes? I mean, raw tomatoes. Ketchup, salsa and pasta sauce — all fantastic. But raw tomatoes? Do they add anything? People who say they do are lying. You aren’t fooling anybody except for yourselves. Still, I feel like quite the burden when I make this request at Rising Roll because the line is literally always 1000 people long around lunch rush. So I’ve recently given up and decided to suffer through my tomato-filled sandwiches. Guilt: one. Me: zero.
9. Realizing you missed a birthday party invite that was sent on Facebook
Just kidding. I don’t feel guilty at all, Carl. Who sends out a birthday party invite on Facebook? Does anybody even use Facebook? The only reason I have one is because I have the feeling future employers will feel more comfortable if I have some online presence — however sterile it may be. I have never posted anything, and I never will. My Facebook just exists to exist. So, Carl, when you send me an invite over Facebook like a madman or a 43-year-old, I’m not going to feel guilty if I don’t ever see it. Guilt: one. Me: one.
10. Way too much
If there is a lesson here, it is that there are ways to feel guilty about everything. If there is a second lesson here, it is that this is no way to live. Watch that episode of “The Office,” take two portions at the dining hall and ask for no tomatoes on your sandwich — life is too short not to. You could get run over by a Lime scooter at any moment — the last thing you want to do is die eating a sandwich you aren’t fully satisfied with.