This is my second September not going back to school, which is is is a big deal seeing as for 17 years September meant back to school time. I’m used to the idea now, and I’m fine with being a working lady instead of a co-ed lady, but this morning at Dunkin’s I overheard a woman on the phone with her daughter. They were discussing lofted beds and whether or not her crates gave her enough storage. How was she getting along with her roommates? Is the new position of her desk working out? All of this made me really nostalgic, so I decided to share some knowledge I accumulated over the 4 years of my college education with the current college kids of today. Of course, this is all just my experience, but it’s not like I went to some weird little private school – I went to a huge state school so, percentage-wise, I think most people will be able to relate to the following words of wisdom.
But first, for anyone who doesn’t think college is a good idea: unless you can’t afford it or want to become a hair dresser, it’s a good idea. Yes, you get a degree which is the key to a career BUT mostly you get to put off real life for 4 or more years. This is your one opportunity to do nothing but hang out with your friends all day long, drink your weight in cheap vodka every weekend and not be looked down upon, live on your own and not pay for it, work/go to class for minimal hours a day, choose to start your day at noon, and the list goes on and on…
1. Roommates: Not everyone can be as lucky as I was and meet lifelong friends the second day of freshman year or become best friends with a randomly-assigned roommate. But regardless of when or how you meet them, your college roommates will become the best friends you will ever have. Spending almost 24 hours a day together leaves you no choice but to get to know each other better than you know yourself. You will learn what foods they don’t like, what size shoe they wear, if they gained one pound, what time of day they pee etc. etc. Do not lose this friendship after graduation. No matter what happens, there is nothing more comforting than knowing that you have people out there that would stop everything if you needed them. And if you lose touch, you might miss out on drafting an official paper-plate contract vowing to go on vacation together every summer – it’s legit if you all sign it.
2. School Spirit: Do I care about football? Absolutely not. Do I care about tailgating? Hells yeah. When you go to the type of school where athletes are excused from class because the professors’ salaries depend on whether or not they make a touch-down, you have to have school spirit. You must invest in various t-shirts and sweatshirts – luckily there are lots of opportunities for freebies. You must tailgate at football games, and this means going all out – a grill, a beer pong table, Baileys in your Dunkin coffee. And get used to drinking at 8:00 a.m. Also, when your roommate is a baton twirler, school spirit becomes personal.
3. Freshman 15: The freshman 15 is real, but it’s more like the college 15. You will gain weight freshman year, and you will remain at a slightly pudgier-than-high school weight for the remainder of your time in college. Blame this on nasty dining hall food and “no time to go to the gym” all you want. We all know the real culprit is binge drinking followed by binge eating. This is pretty inevitable, so just accept it and don’t let yourself get too fat. The pounds will come off again after graduation when you stop eating because you’re so depressed that you’re not in college anymore.
4. Halloween: The single most important holiday for a college girl is Halloween. Costume preparation begins at least a month in advance, if not immediately after the previous Halloween has ended. Costumes usually involve some sort of theme with your roommates, but they don’t have to. Don’t go for the pre-packaged costume at the Halloween store, that tells people that you don’t respect this sacred holiday. Word of caution to freshman: it’s easy to get swept up in the “it’s the one night of the year when it’s okay to dress like a slut” theory. This is true to a certain extent – go for some extra cleavage, or a really short skirt, or a suggestive theme. But choose wisely because by senior year you WILL regret attending a frat party in a bra and underwear with wings and calling yourself an “angel.” Luckily, I didn’t make that mistake, but I’ve seen it, and it’s not pretty. Remember girls, that philosophy was born before Facebook.
To be continued….