Freshman Guide: Night Terrors
So you’ve done the big move-in: chatted with your new roommate/Wildcat Welcome Best Friend, told your parents to fuck off, and cried a bit. After an exhausting day of trying to infiltrate the Freshman PWild clique down your hall, you’re probably chomping at the bit to hop in that bed of yours and get buzzed off the flame-retardant chemicals in your new mattress pad. Not so fast! Remember those night terrors that plagued your childhood? The sleep demons that caused your eyes to roll back into your head as you ran around naked, licked your cat, and re-instilled your mother’s belief in The Devil? If they come back to haunt you while you slumber in your new dorm, you’re going to need a game plan to battle the sleep bogeyman without mom at your beck and call. Here’s the definitive guide for surviving those initial 3-4 stages of REM sleep in a new sleep environment.
YOUR RA IS YOUR FRIEND
As Morty famously said during his Class of 2021 welcome speech: “RAs are your mommies and daddies away from home.” Treat them as such. Next time that mildly creepy nightmare about dolphins morphs into a full blown half-conscious panic attack, just remember that it’s OK to ask Dan the RA if you can sleep in his bed. Upperclassmen are like, adults or something, and literally know everything.
DISCERN HALLUCINATION FROM REALITY
When you’re in the midst of a terror, it’s important to remember that nothing you’re seeing is real. The shiny metallic liquid leaking through the stone walls, the maggots in your shower caddy, the carpet taking the form of that Northwestern professor indicted for murder - all hallucinations that have no basis in reality. You see, the chances of chemicals leaking in under-maintained dorms, vermin outbreaks in dorm bathrooms full of fecal matter, and a man who eluded authorities for a week breaking out of prison are relatively rare. No, the ceiling did not just transform into an elevator that’s crushing you in your sleep. Elder may not be up to code, but that’s beside the point.
ENLIST THE HELP OF GOD
If you can’t train the terror out, pray the terror out. Cru exists for a reason.
PRACTICE GOOD FRESHMAN SLEEP HYGIENE
The bane of many a young person these days is poor sleep hygiene caused by overstimulation at bedtime. Trying to fall asleep at 2 AM when you just finished the JonBenét Ramsey miniseries and your roommate has returned from an Old Sig Ep event puking Hamburger Helper and Skol through their nostrils definitely won’t lend itself to a good sleep experience. Instead, lull yourself into some shut-eye with a good book and/or Xanax and power through that seventh circle of sleep disorder hell like a champ.
AVOID ATTACKING YOUR ROOMMATE DURING YOUR TERROR
Living with another person is a compromise, and you didn’t mark “night terrors” in your RoomSync profile. Prevent yourself from violently shaking your roommate awake while your eyes are rolled all the way back in your head and you’re screaming about “the monster made of Stucco” by tying yourself to your bed via your dorm hall lanyard or creating a physical barrier between you and your roommate with one of those edgy tie-dye tapestries. Whatever you do, do NOT let your roommate know night terrors are something you suffer from. People at this school talk, and any bad press will surely get you blacklisted from joining Greek Life, which is hands down the most important part of freshman year. ZBT’s woke, but sleep disorders definitely cross a line.