{shortcode-a058d68de5f21a9c3c6561c893167b903312a6d7}It was 1:30 a.m. I was dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s of my pset - hi to my mom who is reading this - when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a small, brown fluff scurry across my Canaday carpet. Before I could even turn, the creature had disappeared into the dorm’s darkness.

My heart sank. It sank in the kind of way where every childhood mouse hero I had ever had, from Geronimo Stilton to Jerry, was suddenly repellent. That’s right, it sank in the kind of way where I became a Tom girl. Yet, most of all, it sank in the kind of way where I screamed.

“MOUSEEEE!” I hollered, awaking my roommates and thus embarking on our mouse-combating journey. Follow along below for (marginally) less screaming and (somewhat) successful strategies:

#1: Calling Securitas

As chaos descended upon my dorm, I felt like a soldier in battle. Every experience I had been through had been solely to prepare me for this moment. My reflexes kicked into action. I declared, “WE NEED TO CALL SOMEONE!”

My fingers flew to my phone as pride flooded me: I was protecting my home. I speed-dialed Securitas (a sign of someone who loves their Harvard community and/or regularly gets locked out). Securitas answered, I locked in:

“Hello! We have a mouse in our common room.”

[pause]

[faint laughter]

[stronger laughter]

“A mouse?!? What do you want me to do?! Come fight it?!”

Pride drained me. Even as I desperately flailed with, “You’re Securitas. Whatever strategy works best—,” I knew it was pointless. I was not a soldier in battle. I was a Harvard student who called security over a mouse.

Rating: 0/10

#2: Frantic Googling

Ah, Google. She has been there for me through everything. From the “what song am I thinking of?” crisis of Tuesday to the “how to not crave academic validation” crisis of later Tuesday, she has never steered me wrong.

So, once again, I turned to her: “how to combat a mouse.” And, once again, she had answers. Thousands. She broke down the difference between a rat and a mouse. She outlined the diseases I was more and less likely to contract from the mouse. And, just as my oh-so-brief attention span was waning, she provided me with a list of “Ways to Repel a Mouse.”

9/10

#3: Kill ‘em with Kindness Peppermint

Five minutes later, I was nonchalantly explaining to my roommates, “the smell of peppermint repels them,” as I dumped an entire bottle of peppermint extract into my essential oil machine. Always an overachiever, I proceeded to douse every part of my room I thought a mouse might enjoy — which, recalling THAT scene in Ratatouille, meant drowning every inch.

As the last drop fell, I took a deep breath. The smell was intoxicating. Not in a seductive, holiday-esque way but in a if-I-can’t-breathe-the-mouse-can’t-either way. Which, I guess, is a win.

6/10

#4: Go to Sleep Believing in my Abilities

Did not work. Never before had the springs of my bed squeaked that mouse-like. Never before had the moonlight produced shadows that rodent-y. While I had hoped the peppermint would soothe me to sleep, it served as a pungent reminder of the ro-demon that could re-emerge at any moment.

-10000/10

#5: Go to Sleep Gaslighting Myself Into Thinking I Made Up Seeing the Mouse

10/10

Alas, despite my ratings, we shall never know which of these strategies proved the most or least effective. We have yet to see the mouse again. I live in a constant state of anxiety wondering, “Is the mouse still out there?”, or, worse, “If we never see the mouse again, will my roommates actually believe that I saw a mouse?”, or, the worst, “Did I see a mouse?” But, here I am writing this article, so it must be real. Right?