On what I thought would be a day like any other, I searched for the little Blackboard icon among my many bookmarks and clicked it. Blissfully unaware, I enter my username and my password, looking forward to another visit full of knowledge and learning opportunities. Instead, I see an entirely different, unexpected screen with an alarming message popping up: ‘Your password will expire in 30 days’.
As I read the bold, red letters, I immediately break out in sweat. “Again?” I whisper, “Another password?!” I take several deep breaths, trying to not let them get to me. I tell myself that it will all go away automatically, that all I have to do is click continue and pretend it never happened.
I try to move on. I try to continue living my life as if nothing has happened. But several days later, I find a threatening message in my inbox: ‘Unless you act in time, your password will expire automatically’.
Shivers go down my spine, my eyes welling with tears. Who are these people? I have changed my password so many times already, when will it be enough? I gave them all the birthdays that I can possibly remember, what else can they possibly want from me? My mother’s maiden name? All the nicknames that I give my cat? The name of my childhood stuffed animal? I’ve used them all, I have nothing left to give!
After years of fighting back, coming up with new obscure personal facts that could be transformed into new passwords, I’ve finally given up. I hope you’re happy, “Library and IT services”, whoever you are. You’ve finally won.