No, I am not high. Nor have I been sobbing. It’s allergies.

In the past week, seemingly every tree and flower in New Haven have blossomed, and every student has, in turn, come down with a crippling case of Cross-Campus-itis that’s forced them to miss that 3:30 discussion section.

But, in response to the changing seasons, some of us have taken a turn for the worse.

My history seminar decided to meet outside on Wednesday, and the first thought to cross my mind was that the HQ courtyard wasn’t ready for that many sneezes. And I’m not just talking about your basic ah-choo. You know the big boy sneezes we’re dealing with, the ones that sound like an elephant who accidentally took too much pepper up the trunk.

It’s not just these mini-excursions during class that bring this side out of me. While photosynthesizing on Cross Campus still replenishes the soul, the constant sniffling and rubbing my eyes make it a slightly less pleasant experience. Such is life with allergies.

I will admit, I bring it upon myself. As spring has sprung — forgive the cliche, but it’s catchy and cheerful enough to win my wholehearted endorsement — I’ve tried to spend as much time as possible in the pollen-infested air. Saturday was an all-day affair at “The Farm” for Battle of the Bands. Every coffee shop meeting has been converted into an afternoon stroll. Every library session has — well, work is optional when it’s this sunny out. My profs will get it.

Were my efforts to show Mother Nature who’s boss — i.e. refusing to buy Zyrtec — futile? Yes. Do I immensely regret holding out until Wednesday night? Heck no. I was proving a point.

To be clear, allergies are like Woody Harrelson in the hit “Now You See Me” film series. He doesn’t really ruin the experience, but you’d be just a little bit happier if he weren’t there. Don’t get me wrong. There are many fates crueler than pollen allergies. After all, millions of people are suffering from colorblindness, majoring in math or even, heaven forbid, living with peanut allergies. I don’t have it so bad.

But it sure is embarrassing. Sitting down for a Zoom interview on Wednesday afternoon, I didn’t know if it would be worse to explicitly clarify that I was dealing with allergies or to show up with glassy red eyes and say nothing. I chose the latter. 

As I sat down for dinner that night, my friend gave me a pat on the shoulder and said, “Aww, buddy, what’s wrong?” First off, who are you to call me buddy? I’m not a five-year-old boy and you are not my sitcom father. And second, c’mon… you know I already would have told you if I was down bad enough to show up to dinner in tears of sorrow.

Every time I walk inside after a little outdoor excursion, I sprint off to a bathroom to wash the pollen out of my eyes. There’s something magical about that awkward moment of eye contact with someone as I hunch over the sink to splash my face for 30 seconds. You would think I’ve learned how to not drench my shirt by this point, but you would be wildly incorrect. It never gets less embarrassing.

I need no pity party. That’s not the point.

I can live with a little minor inconvenience in my life. What hurts is the cruel irony. It’s like God was thinking, “What’s the funniest thing I could do to make people hate my prettiest inventions?” And then She made it annoying to breathe around flowers. 

Springtime, especially at school, seems to be inextricably linked in our minds to a feeling of joy and carefreeness. That’s what makes allergies frustrating. They feel a little bit like I’m allergic to that beauty and joy. 

That said, if the temperature cracks 70 next week, I’ll be on Cross Campus inhaling that flower extract with the rest of you.

Unless you’re my TA or seminar professor. In that case, I’ve come down with a very bad cold and am worried that it might be COVID, so I don’t want to put anyone else at risk. I’m so sorry I can’t make it to class while all of my friends are out and about eating ice cream and frolicking on this beautiful, warm, joyful day.

Andrew Cramer is a former sports editor, women's basketball beat reporter, and WKND personal columnist at the YDN. He still writes for the WKND and Sports sections. He is a junior in Jonathan Edwards College and is majoring in Ethics, Politics & Economics.