Panic in the Bathroom.

Posted by Haley. Breaking news from the research station.

There have been multiple reports of a bizarre and truly traumatizing experience. The terror felt by the victims exceeds any description.

The survivors are indistinguishable from the rest of the group until the chilling truth is revealed, uttered out in a whispered mumble, full of shame and sadness. At least half of us NERU-ers (myself included) have grazed this thin line between life and death. It begins with the simple closing of a door, sometimes followed by the gentle turn of a lock, but it ends with panic, adrenaline rushing through your system, and the endless questions that come with being locked in the bathroom.

The first reaction is always denial; the lockee does not believe they are truly stuck. Yet after about five seconds of attempting to open, unlock, and shimmy the door loose, a dark cloud covers the mind, blocking any clarity and problem solving skills in which aspiring scientists like ourselves are prone to excel. Bouncing from what-if to what-if, one frantically thinks, “Will I be stuck here forever? Would I break my foot kicking through the door? Can anyone hear my screams?” Suddenly, the realization that no one is in the lab, the hallway, and even the building dulls any glimmer of hope. The real horror hits: WHAT WILL BECOME OF MY INCUBATIONS? WHO WILL RUN MY SAMPLES ON THE GC? HOW ON EARTH CAN I DO STATS IN A BATHROOM? The dedicated start trying to remember the formula for a t-test, and the daring dive into the calculus necessary for completing linear regressions by hand. Seconds seem like minutes, hours, and days.

Eventually, the door glides anti-climatically open, as if you had not been struggling, putting all of your physical and emotional strength into one little wooden plank for the past 30 seconds.

So far, this phenomenon has no explanation. Though one thing is for certain, you never think it could happen to anybody but a fool, until it happens to you.



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