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Taylor University survival guide

A new monthly column

By Alyssa Roat | Contributor

About the new column

Introducing the new guidebook for surviving the college life. With flairs of sarcasm, humor and lighthearted tones, sophomore Alyssa Roat will show you the ins and outs of campus life. Starting this week, Roat introduces us to a typical problem at the university: what to do when someone takes your seat. Jesting, Roat gives us tips with how to conquer such dilemmas and not only survive, but thrive at this ever-weirder college.

Editor’s Warning: The following column contains sarcasm, hyperbole and traces of satire. Please do not take all the advice in this column literally (or do so at your own risk). Again, your eyes are about to encounter an article stuffed full of acerbic wit and humor. Read with caution.

You walk into the Hodson Dining Commons light on your toes, excited for this break from homework and classes. Glancing around to inspect today’s meal choices, you breeze over to your customary table. And then you see it.

Someone is sitting at your table.

It’s not someone you know. It’s not someone on your wing. Your heart begins to race and you try not to hyperventilate. But your mind can only scream:


We all know this terrifying feeling, and it doesn’t just happen at the DC. For inexplicable reasons, some incorrigible will sit in your seat seven weeks into the semester, or a wing will miscalculate and sit in your row at chapel. But it’s so much worse than losing your seat. Now, you must brave the tumultuous ocean of seats in an attempt to find a new one without playing the same cruel trick on some other poor, unsuspecting student. For you know you must never, ever assume the nefarious role of seat thief.

What is a student to do? Take heart! The Taylor University survival guide has the tips you need.

Upon discovering your terrible misfortune, don’t panic. Take a deep breath. Look around. If you’re in the DC, are there any empty tables nearby? Take one of them, but make sure to thump your backpack down, heave a sigh and gripe, “I guess we’ll just sit here!” This provides a subtle and polite hint to the table thieves.

If you’re at chapel, is there an open row behind the usurpers? Take it, but loudly voice your confusion. “Why are we sitting here? We always sit in that row! What? Oh, those people took it? How annoying!” If they don’t seem to notice this, they may need extra assistance. Make sure to belt off-key during worship to encourage change in the true Christian spirit.

Class is harder. If it is a large class, you may not know where everyone sits. Sitting in the middle of the front row is always a good tactic. Everyone will be so shocked to see someone in this courageous position, they will immediately see that you have been deprived of your rightful seat, and with any luck, will shun the perpetrator.

If you are too shy to take this bold move, sit uncomfortably close to the seat-taker. Make sure your backpack entangles the rouge’s feet and your papers stray into the stolen territory. If this does not work, sneeze and hack. The fiend will soon learn to fear you and will relinquish your seat.

Change is obviously dangerous in these situations. Calmly taking an extra second to sit elsewhere and experience something new is strongly unadvised, and attempting to make friends with the newcomers is cautioned against.

A lack of unwritten seating rules would result in mass chaos. People sitting in different seats have the strange, miraculous capacity to reduce the number of available seats by half simply by sitting in a new place. Thus, no one will have anywhere to sit. This will naturally cause a chain reaction in which all students will have to stand until they wither away, after which the earth will most likely implode. Thus, it is of utmost importance to follow these steps in the Taylor survival guide to punish these wanton anarchists. Destroy the evil of flexibility and new experiences! Don’t become a seat thief. The world may end if you do.

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