Things I’ve lost at Stanford


I used to mourn my chronic failure to keep track of my possessions, and then I realized the comic relief I could conjure by itemizing these lost (and sometimes later found) belongings in article format. After all, why write if you aren’t going to sprinkle some self-deprecation and semi-cohesive morals into the mix?

So without further ado, behold, a list of things I have lost since NSO:

  1. My keys/ID card (three formal times when I was required to pick them up at an administrative desk, as well as countless informal times, usually in different jacket pockets). As a devoted Stanford bookstore enthusiast, I’ve bought lanyards™ two separate times, as well as a little card holder (yes, I understand, I should’ve just stolen these from student groups I knew I wouldn’t be joining at a club fair). Have these purchases made it any easier to keep track of my things? Not substantially. Are the lanyards fun to swing in my hand as I try to strategize my way out of bland conversations? Yep. Finally, have I called my mother crying when I’ve lost these things because I bottle up my elite university stress until something tangible happens about which I’m socially allowed to be upset? Absolutely! However, I do have both with me right now, so eat my shorts, ADD!
  2. My Hydroflask. After a devoted, long-term relationship of about a month, I dropped and subsequently lost track of my Hydroflask during a bike ride home. Mac, I hope whoever adopted you is a better mother than I was. I bought a $9 Camelbak after that and — thank God — haven’t lost that one.
  3. My certainty about my intellectual interests. Not much elaboration needed here, I just have no academic or professional direction and ¾ of my classes are IntroSems because “exploring my curiosities” is all I know how to do and the entirety of my dorm is in the same physics class and the other day I was attacked for laughing at a CS joke that went over my head (it was still funny without context, okay). 🙂
  4. My only Patagonia zip-up. Literally no commentary except that this is the karma I deserve for trying to flex.
  5. My yellow beanie. This! is! a! perfect! situation! because! I’m! from! California! and! don’t! know! how! to! handle! the! cold! nor! do! I! have! another! beanie!
  6. My patience/grace. I grew up with parents who told me to respect everyone’s opinions and always assume best intent. I have tried. I have also failed.
  7. My socks! This does not concern me too much as I still have my grilled cheese, piano-playing cats and llama socks. What makes things a tad bit awkward though is that I never lose a complete pair — only halves.
  8. My pop culture awareness. Considering the fact that most of the news I read comes from The Daily, I have not exactly remained up-to-date on who’s dating whom, who’s on tour or what new food groups I’m not supposed to eat. (Apparently 21 Savage is a Brit, though?)
  9. My journal. The worst of them all — but also the most magical shock when I discovered I had just left it in my dad’s glove compartment over winter break. This journal is literally my everything. I’ve been using it for about five years now, with scattered notes and massive gaps of time in between entries. For an entire night, I could not regain composure, but after sleeping on it, I realized I was still me, I still had my ideas and I could still find other references for growth in my writing and aging. Despite working vigorously and finally being able to make peace with this outcome, I got lucky, and my dad found it the next day. Honestly, that was likely the most happy jumping and screeching I’ve ever done in my life, and I’ve met Lauv, so the bar is high.
  10. Apparently my dignity, as this article contains an excessive amount of self-disclosure and went on for longer than I anticipated! Nonetheless, I hope this encourages you to cut yourself some slack and realize that there is at least one student here who doesn’t have her shit together. To trying! And to Camelbaks!


Contact Malia Mendez at mjm2000 ‘at’


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Malia Mendez ’22 is the Screen desk editor for the Arts & Life section of The Daily. She is majoring in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, Prose track. Talk to her about Modernist poetry, ecofeminism or coming-of-age films at mjm2000 ‘at’