Murphy reported that his nervous system was working just fine because he is “so nervous all time.”
Photo by Sharon Roth
During a recent intervention staged by his roommates, San Diego resident and fourth-year Warren student Thomas Murphy proclaimed he “just had to make it through this week,” for the eighth week in a row. Murphy, a soon-to-be graduate with a B.S. in Cognitive Science, assured his roommates that he would relax post-graduation and fix the “minor issue” of his 125 BPM resting heart rate.
“We wanted to talk to Thomas, because he’s been going at it pretty hard over the last three quarters, like, emotionally and physically,” said Ken McBride, Murphy’s roommate and friend. “I don’t think anyone’s had a good time at college over the past year, but Thomas has had an especially shitty one. I know he’s busy, but it’s his last quarter in college! COVID gave him a good excuse to focus on school, but now that he’s fully vaccinated, he’s gotta try and go to the beach, or hang out with his friends, or … like, just do something, you know? But, instead, he got excited yesterday because he figured out how to cry in his sleep, and that meant he could add another hour during the day to do more work.”
Sam Blaese, a tenured professor in the Cognitive Science department, was equally concerned with Murphy’s behavior. “In my 21 years of teaching, I’ve never seen a student that was simultaneously holding it all together and completely falling apart. I had Thomas for a first-year intro course, and he did excellent work. So, naturally, I was excited to see him again this year, but he seemed different somehow. I can’t explain it all that well, but let’s just say that there were a lot of assignments turned in at 11:58 p.m., alongside a 200-word essay in the comments describing how sorry he was that the assignment wasn’t his best work.”
Murphy seemingly fails to understand his roommates’ point of view. “I appreciate their concern for me, but I think I’m handling his quarter pretty well,” he asserted, taking a pause to chug his seventh cup of coffee of that day. “I wish I could just let loose like my roommates right now, but if I take any time to chill, then I’ll be behind, and taking 22 units means I gotta be on my A-game at all times. After commencement, I’ll be able to take it easy … at least until my summer internship starts.” Murphy is set to begin his summer internship on June 18th, giving him nearly five days of rest, but he has said those five days will be “anything but restful.”
“Look, I wanna take a load off between school and my internship as much as the next guy,” Murphy began, a single tear rolling down his cheek as he poured Red Bull into his coffee maker. “But my summer internship is just that — before I know it, the summer will be over, and I’ve gotta get into the job market! These cover letters aren’t gonna write themselves! Plus, I’ve gotta come to terms with the overwhelming feeling of emptiness and loss that I’ll have after graduating – especially since that’s going to be my primary feeling for the next 60 years of my life. I’ve budgeted at least two days for that crushing realization.”