It only takes a moment for a perfectly normal day to take a dire turn.
On Tuesday morning, I found myself relaxing in the shower, and after lathering a fair amount of shampoo into my hair, I felt the time was right to turn around and wash it out.
Normally, I would accomplish this without a hitch, but when I took my first step, my foot decided to hydroplane across the floor of the shower and shoot up into the air.
Any particularly hard fall seems to happen in slow motion. Surveying the area around me, I only saw plains of ceramic. As I pitifully grabbed at the shower curtain around me, my life flashed before my eyes. Could this be how I die? I wondered which one of my roommates will have the chance to find my naked corpse crumpled on the ground—the shower still running.
My reflexes decided the best way to land was to absorb the brunt of the impact with my liver, which smashed against the side of the bathtub. When I regained my bearings, I noticed the curtain was splayed across the room, and the shower was spraying water all over the floor. To add insult to injury, I still had to wash the shampoo out of my hair.
Although I am still alive, this whole ordeal could have been avoided with the purchase of a simple shower mat. Too often, it seems, students still live life with a childlike air of immortality that causes them to overestimate their abilities. This rarely occurs in an obvious way, but there are many ways students should attempt to make their lives a little safer.
Aside from the obvious purchase of shower mats, a product that lots of students seem to use without caution is a space heater. The ability of these machines to start fires and belch out carbon monoxide seems to be understated in comparison with their heat-making abilities.
I have seen students accustomed to spending the entire night with one of these machines perched precariously on the very sheets on which they sleep. Not only are these machines dangerous near flammable items, but the possibility of one of these machines falling on its side creates an even more disastrous opportunity for fire.
In relation to these space heaters, it’s probably a good idea not to overload the outlet they are plugged into. While those small plugs that turn two outlets into six can be quite useful for the techno-savvy student of today, it’s important to note these are not circuit breakers, and overloading a plug with power-sucking appliances can be quite dangerous.
The most intense awakening of my year occurred when a loud popping sound turned out to be my lava lamp—don’t hate—spitting sparks into the back of my desk. My power bar wasn’t even overloaded at the time, so people should be careful.
While it seems like this column is just a byproduct of anxiety from almost dying a very clean and soapy death, it is important to know it’s not always guns or disease that kill, but also our own overconfidence. Be careful, because you don’t want to be the one who gets found naked in a flooded room.