September is coming at us full force and for the first time in 15 years, it means absolutely nothing to me. Yup, as a jobless, broke, living on my parents’ couch college graduate I’m not going back to school this year. It’s weird. It’s confusing. It’s really, really sad. [She says as she sighs deeply and bites her quivering lip, crying into her empty planner.]
Being catapulted into the real world has made me realize just how much I took for granted in college. I didn’t think about it when I was roaming the soft hills of the quad to make it to the library. Or when my eyes were bugging out reading the tiny script in my Science book (that cost me 200 buckaroos). I didn’t think of any of this until I was living at home with my parents, paying my loans and watching Jennifer Aniston movies with my mom (check, check aaaand check).
And I won’t let the rest of you make the same mistake. For all of you still in college or about to embark on the big journey, take the time to appreciate the good life. Especially the little things:
1. Free EVERYTHING
Free t-shirts, iPod cases, food, water, snacks, toilet paper…. What I wouldn’t give for some free Tootsie Pops right about now.
2. Walking… Everywhere
Sure, traveling by foot everywhere you go can get exhausting (and you feel the constant urge to drive to class…), but I got so much glorious exercise from power walking from class to class to home to Starbucks to class. Pumping my arms, barely giving one foot enough time to land… I bet I burned thousands of calories every year from Betty Flinestoning my arse around campus.
3. Being Stressed, And Using Stress As An Excuse for Everything
Really…the level of stress in my life in college was always 10 notches below what I always made it seem. And I loved it. Stress is the perfect excuse for overeating, drinking, and making bad decisions. And it was always valid! “It’s OK, I’m stressed so I’m going to let myself watch 10 hours of America’s Next Top Model all Saturday and buy a pack of Dove Chocolates from the C-Store..” Stress blissfully carried me into many hangovers, binge eating sessions and naps on my futon. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
4. Cushy Schedule
I never noticed this as a I pounded through every day in college. Why? Probably because I was busy napping during my 5 hour breaks away until my late night class. A full day of college would have at least 3-800 sweet intervals, offering just enough time for snacking, catching up on TV or catching up on sleep. And your schedule always changed – every day was a little bit different. But the best part of it all? The opportunity to start at 11am and schedule a three-day weekend at the beginning of every semester. Three-day weekends don’t happen in real life.
5. Dumpy Houses Everyone Lives In
Stop complaining about the constantly dirty floors, the drafty windows and the terrible water pressure in the shower. Do you realize how glorious that hut you call home is? A dumpy house calls for a dumpy, carefree lifestyle. You can go over to watch Saturday college football and completely put your feet up, get Dorito crumbs everywhere and leave an open beer on the coffee table. I’m not saying you have to be a complete slob, but Mama isn’t going to come around the corner and convulse on the ground about your terrible living habits. More like your best guy friend is going to crack you open another beer and turn the channel to the Puppy Olympics (helloooo, Superbowl Sunday).
6. Cocktail prices
You won’t realize this until you’re a post-grad coming back for your first year reunion, but bars in college towns are CHEAP.
Come second semester, sometimes you want to dump your roommate’s face in the dirty dish water in your sink. But stop. Roommates are so underrated. They are always there for you to vent about how slow people are walking on the sidewalk and how the elevator isn’t working…again. They are there to let you dig through their closet and spend a guilt-free Friday night going to see the latest chick flick. With roommates, there’s always someone to do something with. And for that I salute you, former roomies!
9. Never seeing People Ages 2-8
In college, I would see little kiddies (on average) once or twice a month. I thought it was so sad…me and my girlfriends would walk through the quad, see a couple with their little girl and start squealing, “Little kids still do exist!! Cute!” I thought it was funny business that lil’ munchkins were never around. Now, after enduring countless hours in locations where babies are always present (i.e local coffee shops, my place of work, malls) I would love to have that brief respite of tears, diapers and sticky fingers.
10. Seeing a Cute Boy at the Gym
Fact: there is just a higher concentration of good looking guys in college.
Fact: Guys look hot when they’re lifting in those gym shorts.
Don’t take that for granted.
What else is underrated in college? SOUND OFF!