Lilly Leif is an English sophomore and Mustang News columnist. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Mustang News.
We’ve all been there. We’ve all been late to class only to find that we are stuck with an abomination to all of mankind for the next few hours: the tiny desk. The one that seems like the guy building it just decided to quit in the middle of making it because he realized how useless this piece of equipment is. Unlike those lucky students who made it to class before you who may spread out leisurely, you are faced with that desk that literally holds only one singular piece of paper. After navigating through a maze of students, bumping into each of their ample-sized desks while profusely apologizing along the way, you sit down in despair. You accidentally put your hand under the desk only to discover there are nine fresh pieces of gum there, basking in your bitter disgust.
Is this really what your life has come to? Sitting there, on the verge of tears behind this pathetic excuse for a learning utensil? You curse out the tree that this tiny plank of wood was cut from. We’re out here killing the rainforests, and for what? A six-inch flap of wood that gives you splinters when you brush your hand on its side? You are now left to sit in this useless contraption for the remainder of class.
A thousand thoughts race through your head about this tiny half-desk. You wonder what purpose this desk serves, given its diminutive size. The answer? None. It serves no purpose other than to humiliate you as you fumble through your papers and notebooks and decide which one will be the one thing you can place on the desk. You feel like a giant baby sitting at this tiny desk. You might as well sit on the floor with your crayons and Cheerios in a plastic baggie and sob for the next hour rather than even bother trying to get anything done on this desk. You look around in envy of your peers who arrived to class early enough to secure a regular-sized desk. You meet the gaze of the one other poor student who suffered the same fate as you. A single tear rolls down their cheek. With knowing glances, you acknowledge each other’s pain, providing you with the strength to push through.
Suddenly, in horror, you watch as your Hydro Flask falls off the edge of your desk, for you were brave enough to attempt to place it on your tiny desk in the first place. The clang of the metal on the floor announces to the entire class that you are a dumb idiot for even pulling such a reckless maneuver. The tiny desk doesn’t care about your hydration. Now you are the one with a single tear falling down your cheek. You quickly wipe it off to reassure the class that you will not be defeated by this tiny foe. You wish you could handle the tiny desk. The only person who chooses the tiny desk is that guy who always shows up with his AirPods and a single pencil, who is somehow always in your class. He doesn’t need a full-sized desk, and his contentment with the tiny one before him fills you with jealousy. In that moment, he has everything, and you? You have nothing.
Perhaps one can argue that the tiny desk is the jelly doughnut of desks or “The Big Bang Theory” of desks. Maybe it’s The Arizona Cardinals of desks. The Piers Morgan of desks. If the tiny desk could talk, it would read directly from Merriam Webster’s dictionary for three hours until you fell asleep. It would insult your entire family, egg your house and then spit in your face. In an alternate hell, there is a 10th circle where there are only tiny desks and Satan himself engorged in flames. You wonder: who designed the tiny desk? Surely real people with some kind of engineering degrees drew up a blueprint for the tiny desk. And that was the best they managed to do? Absolutely tragic. What prevented these designers from including another eight inches of desk? The person who invented this desk was probably the same jerk who invented the guillotine. Perhaps they enjoy seeing college students suffer. You reconsider the fact that you’re paying $20 thousand every year to sit at this minuscule desk, then ponder dropping out. But then you remember you’ve already disappointed your loved ones enough.
Finally, after your professor finishes their seemingly faraway lecture, you begin to pack your belongings, but not before accidentally brushing all the papers off your desk and watching them fly away from you. In embarrassment, you scuttle over and pick them up while the entire class circles you, joining hands, laughing at your demise. You make your way to the door, but before you leave, you lock eyes with the tiny desk. With your head hung in shame it grins at you, knowing it has taken every last shred of your pride and will do so all over again tomorrow. And thus, the tiny desk wins.