What happens when you try to study in Alex on game day

If you’re weak like me, you end up tailgating

It’s that time of the year again – the weeks before finals when you realize you have been slacking on your reading and assignments since October. More realistically, you have been slacking since the first day of classes.

To save my grades, last Saturday I decided it was time to hit Alexander Library instead of putting on my scarlet attire, acting like a kid and journeying through the land of New Brunswick tailgates.

Now, don’t get me wrong. This wasn’t an easy decision for me. One of the reasons I came to Rutgers was because I wanted a big football school, and this tailgating season has lived up to all of my expectations.

On Game Day in New Brunswick, the spirit, the craziness and the bonding is everything I look forward to as a college student. Of course, my heart hangs heavy with our football record, but that’s another story.

It’s 10am on game day, and I’m sitting in my usual spot in Alex. I’m in the Undergraduate Reading Room, right by the window – right where I can look outside and wish I didn’t have hours of work ahead of me.

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My roommate finally joins me at noon. Just like me, she is trying to piece her semester together one word, one essay, one exam, one project at a time. We make a pact: we will not leave Alex and go to a tailgate. No “ifs,” “ands,” or “buts.”

By 3pm, morale is low at Club Alex. We have resided to refreshing our Snapchat stories instead of scrolling through our textbook pages. The stories are filled with everything a girl can dream of.

We hear Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” playing while our best friends dance and trip over tree stumps, solo cups in hand. Not only are we seeing this on our Snapchat stories, but people are sending us personal Snapchats of them tailgating. Seriously? I told you ALL I was going to be in the library.

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My roommate and I give each other a look – we are both getting antsy. Right in our view, we can see dozens of happy tailgaters making their way along College Avenue to the game. We remember our pact and then think, “well, everyone needs a break at some point, right?”

No, absolutely not. We are so sure we will keep our heads down. So we keep on trucking along with our homework. Then, after what seems like an eternity (it was literally a minute), we both look up, laugh and decide, “oh, what the hell.”

“We can drop our books off and head over for like an hour.”

“Yeah, we’ll be back by 5pm.”

“We will go, say ‘hi’ to everyone, and then leave.”

“Yeah, I don’t feel like drinking water anyway.”

So, just like that, we pack up our bags and our rationality, run back to our house, put on some mascara and head to the tailgates. Bye-bye wooden seat causing an early onset of paralysis.

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Well, to spare you the details of our time after leaving the library, we quickly went from A+ scholars to typical Jersey girls, shouting “What Do You Mean?” at each other while taking sips of that good water out of a red cup.

There was no window shopping here – we went for the spree. Before long, we found ourselves at Hansel and then fell into a deep slumber. Rookie mistake.

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I have to say, I’m impressed with our resiliency, because we finally made it back to Alex at 9pm that night. Perhaps the saddest part of this day is we didn’t even make it to Busch.

Sorry, Rutgers football. We still love you.

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