"The Land Down Under And Above"
It can happen at any time of the day or night. When it does, there is nothing you can do to stop it. Most often, it occurs at the moment that is the least convenient for you. A lesson in anatomy? Not quite. I'm talking about something every college student deals with: neighbors and the idiosyncrasies that make them worth beating with a cactus.
(To the kid who decided to rough it by evacuating his dorm and pitching a tent in the woods near school in an effort to "make a statement greater than myself": No. You don't have any neighbors. The closest thing you have to a neighbor is the owl in the tree next to you who offers no more companionship than a cap eraser and contributes little else to your life besides crapping on your tent. Stop reading this article and set it on fire, you'll need the heat).
(To the rest of you: you can set this on fire, too. It's basically your call).
There may be some of you out there who have had a pretty easy ride so far. Your years in school have, residentially, gone very smoothly. Your room is quiet, and you have never found yourself affected by disturbances from those living above or below you. For these select few, it is necessary to initiate you into the various types of individuals that surround the rest of us:
Ethnic Cooking Enthusiast: This guy is known for his affinity towards both stovetops and curry, and the resulting aroma of "Cow Turd on a Long Run in Humid Weather Wearing Sweats" that follows their union. You can usually find him slinking away from your apartment building as the entire complex evacuates and huddles outside to watch the fire department follow up on reports of people smelling "burning India" coming from somewhere inside.
Football Players: Everyone knows that after the grueling fall season, football players deserve their fun. But when two defensive linemen square off for a late-night Dance, Dance Revolution" show-down in the apartment above you, you'll make a note to befriend as many golfers as possible.
Silent Bob: The opposite extreme. Your GPA drops a full point because of hours spent entertaining the possibility that he just might be legally dead.
Emo Guitar-Picker: This guy is really, really in touch with his feelings. Moaning away like a constipated giraffe to covers of the tunes that "define his transcendence," he single-handedly turns you against bands you once loved. Insult can be added to injury if he constantly sports his latest "ironic" t-shirt ("Get it? It's a quote from a movie! Come over and take a line of self-discovery with me."). He also achieves the impossible by making Jack Johnson actually sound like even less of a man through seventeen inches of drywall. To drown him out and fall asleep, you opt to listen to tapes of possum families being microwaved.
Excessive Snorer: Whether you're asleep or not, you're well aware of when he is. Medical experts explain the racket by stating that this fellow's septum hasn't so much "deviated" as "packed up its st and walked off."
Marathon Sex Addict: Nothing reminds you more acutely of the action you aren't getting than attempting a problem set with the thudding of your neighbor's headboard as background music. Annoyance gradually evolves into reverence, however, as your wall's other half takes the conventional concept of "Tuesday afternoon" and redefines it seven-and-a-half times. The two of you are actually able to establish a free-trade agreement that entitles you to all the beer you can drink in exchange for a defibrillator and a glucose IV. And ladies: it's the little things in life. If you enter your boyfriend's apartment to find him standing on his bed, with a traffic cone's wide end on the ceiling and the small pressed to his ear, ease off. It's cheaper than porn.
IKEA Furniture Collector: It bodes well for this guy that he's crazy about the concept of "assembly required"; the paramedics will have to employ the same method for his facial features after one too-many morning hammerings drive you out of your "happy place."
Neurotic Studier: At the beginning of the year, you figure it's no big deal when the guy below you mentions that he really needs quiet. The size of "deal" that it is somewhat increases, however, when you pull back the curtain to find him outside your shower, pleading his fervent wish that the "thundering falls" stop soon. He's got finals in four months and can't be forced to study through the watery din.