The following content is purely satirical and entirely fictional. This article is part of The Daily Princetonian’s annual joke issue, which you can find in full here. Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet!
“We just feel so overwhelmed,” said Rock E. Feller ’23 in Firestone Library.
In Firestone, groups of squirrels gather together to prepare for their final exams over Reading Period. Loud chatter can be heard as they stress about finishing a paper in time for Dean’s Date or not understanding a topic in SQU 305: Squirrels: The Golden Age (HA). To be sure, this is a stressful time to be on campus.
With significantly fewer students around to interrupt their daily classes, many feel this has been a time to establish a solid footing on campus. Squirrels were able to set up their own Furrinceton University. After all, as Feller explained: “We’ve always been such an integral part of campus, but we find ourselves interrupted by walking or biking students. Now, we’d really like to get some of our readings done.”
In fact, Murray-Dodge Cafe has adapted well to the situation, serving fresh batches of acorns for all those in need of a study break. Away with the flour and the sugar; candied acorns now serve as the delicacy du jour for these diligent students. Since the squirrels aren’t looking to gain the Furry 15 (ounces), they stay active by going on runs to burn off the calories from all those candied acorns.
Furry Holder ’24 explained: “When I first got here, I felt like it was really easy to just keep doing work. But now, with my friends, I find myself going on runs or climbing trees, which is really helpful in managing my work and just taking some time away.”
“Sometimes you really just want to climb a tree or chase a water bottle across the street instead of doing that SQU 305 paper,” said Feller. Self-care is critical to well-being, and academic success is deeply intertwined with students’ wellbeing. The squirrels know.
That’s why once every week, they organize themselves to play a game of RoadRunner. In this game, the objective is to chase the water bottle across the road as quickly as possible. The winner gets an extra acorn. “Such games help take our mind off of that final or that paper and allow us to just, at the end of the day, enjoy each other’s company,” explained Holder.
This stress is not limited, however, to Reading Period. “Midterms were a mess,” said Chase Witherspoon ’22. “Lectures were going on during that week, and we found it difficult to keep up with the pace of work.”
Lectures for the new student body have been filled with ups and downs. From hearing claws on the chalkboard to not being able to hear over the chewing of acorns, lectures have added a new element of stress for these students. Witherspoon elaborated, “I feel like I don’t really know what’s going on in lecture.”
The squirrels miss chasing students around campus and stealing stray french fries from Frist South Lawn. They also miss their frequent appearances in photographs and their time in the spotlight. Holder said, “It’s like we have this time to ourselves, but we don’t know what to do with it. In truth, we miss having people here because it was much more fun for us.”
And without this motivation to finish the semester strong, these squirrels face a plight not unlike those of the students.
“We can only hope that once everyone is back on campus, we can actually get back to some sense of normalcy,” explained Holder.
“Of course we’ll need to maintain six inches of social distance and we won’t be able to hang out in Firestone anymore, but at least we won’t feel so alone,” said Witherspoon.
Yes, even the squirrels are counting the days to a more normal time.