Car Accidents, School, and How I Learned to Love the Craziness

by Alanna Brown


I was sitting in the passenger’s seat of my dad’s car on the way home from my SREP lab at Case. I felt like I felt like I was dying of hunger, but I was only tired from another typical day at HB. Since the air was still warm I let my window down to feel the light breeze in my face. Then in an instant I heard my dad swear and the impact of us crashing into an SUV. The mint green airbags deployed as I heard a strange hissing sound and inhaled the smoke. My brother let out a cry, and I turned left to face a group of concerned onlookers.

I sat there in awe. I couldn’t move. All of me wanted to get out of the car, but I couldn’t move. The windshield looked like one of those pictures of broken glass hipster blogs post on Tumblr. It was beautiful.

Doing nothing was something I hadn’t done in a while. Even when I’m procrastinating homework, I’m glued to my phone or computer screen scouring the internet for something to take my mind off the school day. I never just sit and take the world in as it is. After living in the HB culture of homework practically all hours of the day, I received this state of wonder with a warm welcome.

Then, unfortunately, the rest of my brain turned back on. “YOU DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS,” my mind screamed at me, “DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH HOMEWORK YOU HAVE TONIGHT?” I had just been in a car wreck and my biggest worry was my history test, so I think I was in good shape. The sickening combination of people screaming, ambulance sirens, and people asking if I was okay gave me a slight headache, which was not helping the whole sleepy and hungry situation.

I got out of the car, but everything felt different. Standing in the middle of the debris and cars made me feel like I was in a movie. But this was real. Again I could barely move. It was as if my body wanted to stand there until it processed every inch of the scene. It was strange and wonderful and silly in the best possible way, but not necessarily the best situation.

We went to the hospital to check on my brother since he can’t speak. Doctors came in and out as my dad made calls to report the accident. I stared into space for at least twenty minutes because I had no idea what I should do. Part of me wanted to finish my Latin homework, part of me thought I should have reacted to the accident more, and part of me was simply unsure. In the end, the unsure part won, and I was left with only myself to converse with. What was going on with my body and why couldn’t I force myself to get anything done? You can have your own theories, but I think I was truly relaxed. After the accident, my tests and quizzes seemed much less important. All that I cared about was the wellbeing of myself and family and they were all more or less fine. So, I had nothing to stress about. These few moments were some of the best moment’s I’ve had in a while.

I didn’t think I would get in a car accident on a Tuesday evening on my way home from lab. But I did, and it was awesome. I could’ve died, but now every step I take is a little more precious, every moment is a little more special. If I had died then, I would have gone with so many regrets and worries that seem so meaningless now. Who cares about tests and quizzes when tragedy is just a ride home away? I’m not saying that I’m never worried about school, but I have learned to love it because I almost missed it all forever. Next time you’re feeling super stressed just take some time to stare out the window and appreciate all the beauty around you. Don’t think about all the tests and papers you have due, but notice the color of the leaves or the way the light hits your window. I promise you’ll feel better (but please don’t crash your car!).


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