College, How Do I Miss Thee?

25 Aug

I know John Belushi, I can't believe it's over either.

I find myself in a strange position.  It’s back to school time, and for the first year I can remember, I am not going back to school.  It’s an odd feeling, thinking that life at college will go on without me.  A new batch of freshmen will arrive, and they’ll soon develop their own allegiances to particular dining halls, discover favorite study spots on campus, and taste the famous Dr. Feelgood from the late-night grille.  These were all my favorite things to do, but I can no longer lay claim to them.  I’ve left those hallowed halls, and when September rolls around, I won’t be among the 2,400 students hugging old friends on the sidewalk and diligently taking notes in my new notebook on the first day of class.  Apparently, when you graduate, you’re not allowed to do these things anymore.  Go figure.

I miss college, but not cripplingly so.  I can look back fondly on my college days without wishing I was still there, and the fact that I can call it “my college days” is, I think, a good sign that I’m moving on.  But, in the spirit of  the back-to-school time, I’d like to take a nostalgic trip down College Street in  Middlebury, VT and list some things that I will especially miss about college.

  1. CLASSES: I didn’t realize how much I liked learning until I was done with it.  Sure, at the time, all I could do was bitch about my papers and  reading assignments, but the discussions were phenomenal.  I loved my religion and my philosophy classes, and we all got so spirited when going over the night’s reading.  Nowadays, most of my chats involve a precocious toddler and begin with, “Poop? Poop in butt?”  The class environment is something you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
  2. GENERAL INTELLECTUALISM: I loved that at dinner or in our suite, we could sit and talk about current social issues or our thesis topics.  Okay, so maybe abortion rights didn’t make for the best table talk on spaghetti night, but that we actually talked about it?  Whoa.  I never did that in high school.  I think I learned just as much out of class as I did in class, as my friends and I would share whatever interesting thing we learned that day.
  3. INSTITUTIONALIZED LIVING: C’mon, it’s kinda fun, yeah?  Beats living with your parents.
  4. ALL THE FUN FREE SHIT THERE WAS TO DO:  I served on a few programming boards, so I always knew that there were events going on all over campus.
  5. COMPLAINING THAT THERE WASN’T ENOUGH FUN FREE SHIT TO DO: In reality, even though we all want events planned and organized for us, we will, more often than not, turn up our noses, declare them to “fucking suck,” and retreat back to the dorms for a few invigorating rounds of MarioKart on the N64.
  6. THE SOCIAL LIFE: It’s nice being surrounded by your friends and other people your own age.  And yeah, the parties were generally a good time, but that’s because we were young and easily excited because we were 100% unsupervised.  These days, standing around stupidly in a dark, cramped, sweaty dorm room that’s overfilling with Keystone Light does not sound like, nor was it ever really, fun.
  7. THE CRAZY RANDOM STUFF YOU BEAR WITNESS TO:  Like a canoe in a tree.  Or streakers in the library.  Or that time my suite hosted an entire 22 person Quidditch team overnight for the World Cup.  Did that last part even make sense to you?  Because Muggle Quidditch is probably the craziest, randomest, funniest, and most intense sport you will ever see, and we literally packed 22 people like sardines into my four person townhouse so they could run around in capes with brooms between their legs.  If that’s not college-spelled-with-a-K, I don’t know what is.

KOLLEGE.

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