How crickets make it all the way up to third-floor dorm rooms continues to mystify me. But they do. Consistently.
And they always seem to find their way to my room.
My freshman year, the crickets infested my Abilene experience from the day I moved in to well into the fall semester.
I heard the first floor of Gardner Hall experienced a cricket invasion, but I contend theirs cannot compare to the total infiltration experienced on Third Floor East.
Located next to a glowing street lamp, our dorm rooms served as brightly lit meccas for the hordes of insects flocking to Abilene. They inconvenienced us during the day, but once night fell, the onslaught took on a new fervor.
We had them dropping from the ceiling, hopping out of closets and scurrying behind our furniture. When they weren’t chirping, their rustling movements sounded through the walls and ceilings. We resorted to stuffing towels in the crack under our door to at least stymie the number of bugs crawling in from the hallway. For those already in the room, we smashed and sprayed, desperately trying to halt the invasion.
We even left some of the cricket carcasses littered about the room for a while in hopes they would serve as a warning to others. That was before we realized they are cannibals.
Our across-the-hall neighbors had it worse. Crickets popped out of holes in the walls, ceiling and shelving, one after the other. The girls tried filling in the holes. Initially afraid to kill the critters, our neighbors trapped them under cups and then tried to wash them down the sink, running the water at full blast for several seconds, only to have the crickets climb back up the drain.
This was not how any of us pictured our first semester at college.
Yet, despite it all, we got through it.
I went to football games, earned the necessary grades, found a church home and even made some friends with whom I am still best friends today.
Despite the cricket plague, my ACU experience kicked off to a fairly decent start.
Now, I work as a resident assistant in Morris Hall. Again, I live on the third floor. The other day, I almost stepped on a cricket scuttling underneath my couch, and I nearly cried as the haunting memories flooded back.
We may have experienced a handful of beetles and a few crickets, but this semester’s bug “issues” cannot compare to the cricket infestation of 2007.
A sighting of one such airborne insect might throw me off for a few seconds, and I always remember how bad it has been – and how bad it isn’t. The sheer lack of annoying bugs this fall reminds me: however cliché, circumstances can nearly always be worse. Even on a bad day, I have been blessed beyond measure.
And although now I am fully capable of eradicating crickets, I am ever thankful that for this semester, at least, I don’t have to.