A fire alarm is the single most irritating noise in the world.It was one thing in high school. It meant a slightly annoying sound, but more importantly a delightful surprise interruption. Yes, you were supposed to take a quiz today that you neglected to study for, but some higher power has smiled on you and decided that today would be the day to have a fire drill third period. Fire alarms were a sign of freedom, an excuse to stand outside chatting with friends when you should have been attending to your studies inside a windowless classroom. Fire drills were near the highlight of your week.
In college, this is far from the case. Fire alarms have become the greatest nuisance next to parking spots a mile from campus or picking the washer with the broken spin cycle. It never fails to interrupt you at the very moment you’re cramming to finish that paper due in an hour, or to wake you up at 2 a.m. when you have class at 8 a.m. Even worse, the fire alarm will inevitably go off in the middle of the night during finals week at least once in your dorm life. It will likely be the result of an alcohol-inspired prank from someone on the floor above you, and it may also keep you out of your warm bed for over 2 hours due to a “malfunction” in the system. You may even end up riding the campus shuttle until 3 a.m. just to keep out of the cold, since you will be in your pajamas. Perhaps that was only an isolated case for me, but you see my point.
Unfortunate as they may be, these pesky alarms will continue to happen while living in a dorm. They happen on pretty much all campuses, actually. Don’t be surprised if they happen at least once a month, maybe even once a week if you live in the right building. Consider yourself fairly warned. The only thing to do is to grit your teeth and bare it. That and learn to keep shoes, a coat, and maybe even a blanket near your door at all times.