When I arrived on campus this week I was very excited to see a new vending machine in Dewy Hall. A nice, cool drink on a warm afternoon is often just what I need while at residency. In the past I had been at the mercy of NECI hours or the warm bottled water in my room for refreshment. This year would be different.
So it was with great excitement that I stood before the soda machine yesterday pondering my choices. A few moments of relaxation in the courtyard sun was waiting. I stared at the bottles in front of me, scanning for the perfect drink.
That is when the paralysis set in!
Choosing a soda is kind of like choosing an advisor.
There on the top row was a nice, traditional Coca Cola. It sure looked to be what I needed at the moment. It’s been around forever, tested and weathered, and there would be no doubt what I would be getting if I chose that bottle. But right next to it was a Diet Coke. Not quite the same taste as the original but in the long run probably better and healthier for me. Do I go with the classic or with the diet?
But wait… right underneath that was a Dr. Pepper. Sure a Dr. Pepper can be a bit spicy and give a little kick but that may be just what I need at the moment. Or perhaps the Mountain Dew resting along the side is what I need. A jolt of excitement in a bottle that is sure to keep me energized for time to come.
But what about the water at the bottom of the machine? Sure, some of the other bottles appear fancier with their fizz and bubbles but the water won’t leave me with that bloated and weighed down feeling afterward. But next to that was an iced tea? Kind of like water but with a different kind of taste and a bit of a punch.
Oh, man! What to do?
I was beginning to shake.
A line began to form behind me and I could hear the sighs from the gathering crowd. I wiped sweat from my brow and studied my choices again. The tried and true, the spicy, the caffeinated, the decaffeinated, the wallop or the bland. My head was beginning to spin. Just make a choice Jeff!
My hands were clammy and damp. I put a few coins in the slot and heard them jingle to the bottom. I knew the people behind me were checking their watches. There was no more putting this off. I took a deep breath and pushed the button of my choice.
Out of Order
My stomach dropped as the words flashed across the screen.
Jeff Schill is a 4th semester student at VCFA. He lives in Milwaukee where he is attempting to write the great American middle grade novel. Check out his blog at JeffSchill.blogspot.com