There are very few moments of my life where I can look back and say “I am honestly happy. Everyday.” College was one of those times. I look back at those ridiculous times fondly and every day I wish I could go back. For those of you that went to college, you know the stereotypes, the jokes, and the idiocy that went on behind (and in front of) closed doors. In the following, I am going to tell you about a few rumors you hear about college, that happen to be true.
5.) You Will Gain Weight
People joke about the freshman 15 as the curse everyone endures just by signing up for classes. I’m not sure what it is, but the minute you walk into that cafeteria, your ass just expands. I don’t know if it’s the cooking lard, the never ending cheeseburgers, or the gallons of booze college kids drink every day, but you’re going to gain some weight. My freshman year I actually lost fifteen pounds, but that was purely because I did not have a constant access to cookies and saturated fat based treats as I did when I lived at home. Unless you were on a sports team (which I was not, unless Playstation has become an intramural sport as of late…) you find yourself playing video games, sitting around, watching tv and studying (ha!) Doing all those things is something that does not burn a lot of calories. I may have lost weight my freshman year, but dammit, it found me come Junior year. I also may have lost weight due to the cafe’s laxative based cooking oil that I swear gave the entire student body a fine case of the ass vomits.
You also have a lot more opportunities to eat. Everyone in college stays up very late, and most kids take up binge drinking like it’s a sport. The later you’re up, and the more inebriated you are, “Hey, lets order cheesy bread and buffalo wings” at 2am sounds. Not a good combo. The laxative food is not needed here.
4.) You Will Work a Shitty, Low Paying Job
Living on a campus is cool, but making money to support your new Ultimate Frisbee and beer swilling habits is hard. I went to college in New Hampshire, which pretty much is the south of the north. Most colleges also have something called work-study, which allows kids to get extra tuition money while working. Work study does not fall under the minimum wage laws. I worked two jobs while in college, one as a TA/lab assistant for my Archaeology professor and the second as a “chef” in the cafeteria. While I made $5 an hour as a TA, the cafe was where the big bucks were. My weekly 35 dollar paychecks weren’t cutting it, so I applied to be a chef. Hell, I knew how to eat the hell out of food, how hard could it be to cook it? I guess the screening process wasn’t to thorough, so I was hired for a cool $6.15 an hour. Rakin’ it in bitches! I made pizzas and mopped floors. The steam in the dish room caused me to not be able to breathe. Not sure why, but my boss laughed and said “it does that to everyone”. Safe. New Hampshire. I hated the job. I hated the job so much I slipped pepperoni in the vegetarian pizza. I’m not proud of this. The problem with college jobs is that you will work for someone who lives in a college town, who generally hates college students, and will go out of his/her way to make your life a living hell. The head “chef” was a fat, balding, dirty sack of fecal matter that used to stick his pudgy fat sausage fingers into the food and taste it. I was eating dinner on my break one day and he told me I was one minute late coming back. I don’t know why but that was the last straw. I called the manager of the cafe and quit that night. I would like to say I flipped out, I threw a pizza in his fat face or I took a dump in his stew…but no…I just kept the chef’s hat.
No, I Swear It’s Vegan…Hippie…
I hated that goddamn job, and that day marked the last time I would ever work in food service. I like to eat food. I love to cook food, just not in a cafeteria. Few things suck more than getting up on a Sunday at 8am to cook omelets en mass for hungover college kids. One of those things is getting your paycheck and realizing it’s not even enough to buy a case of Natty Ice (Yes, I heard that complaint in college, I do not know it personally as I would never drink that swill.) No I will not make you a lucky charms omelet you fat turd.
3.) You Will Experience Poverty
I heard a great quote the other day. “If you mix taco bell sauce into your ramen, it will taste exactly like poverty”. I laughed for a while then realized I, on more than one occasions, mixed the cheese sauce from mac n’ cheese into my ramen to change it up. While working in a work study program as I touched on before, you make very little money. Back in my day, I could get a half a tank of gas for five bucks. But that was an hours work. I then walked back to school, uphill, both ways in six feet of snow, wearing nothing more than a burlap sack. I kid. But seriously, having no money sucks. You find new ways to entertain yourself because you have no money. I think I watched the first two seasons of Family Guy 65 times. I can recite the entire script from “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”. We played a lot of Ultimate Frisbee, and when we got bored with that, we invented new rules for it - like D.U.F.F. (Death Ultimate Frisbee). Mix the rules of Ultimate Frisbee and backyard wrestling and you get D.U.F.F. You also get a screwed up hip for the rest of your life, like myself. Life was tough my friends, but we got by. Now, I eat out once or twice a week, but back in college, going out to eat was like going on vacation. When we all got together to go to the 99, or dare I say it, Applebee’s if we skipped eating for an extra day, it was amazing. All you can eat riblets? DON’T MIND IF I DO!
Rue The Day!
People kid about all the ramen you will eat in college. It’s not funny, because it’s true. I only survived because of ramen, easy-mac and Wal-Mart brand Mountain Dew. A grilled cheese was like a fine steak. Senior year was my own stupidity. Someone found a loophole in the system. If you cancelled your meal plan, the school would write you a check for $2,000 or so. A bunch of us did that in September, laughing that we could make $2,000 last until May. We were broke by December. Never underestimate a college students complete inability to manage money.
2.) You Will Freak Out
I don’t mean the “OMG, my girlfriend just broke up with me” or “WTF, I failed the quiz” freakout. I mean the whole, “I am questioning my life, my major, my existence” freak out. The full blown, what the hell did I do freak out. Something is going to happen where you are going to be so upset you are going to regret going to college. You are going to regret your choice of major. You are going to regret everything. It is usually spurred from an academic failure. You flunk a class, you fail a giant paper, etc etc. But, I will tell you, it is because you are going to start to feel overwhelmed. Many of these freak outs come either Freshman year, or Senior year. Either because you were just thrown into something brand new, or because you think you didn’t accomplish enough or get good enough grades to make it in “the real world” (FYI kids, that “C” in Biology 101 isn’t going to keep you from getting your dream job). Let me tell you about my freak out.
Finally, It’s Everything I Hoped It Would Ever Be!
Without boring you with the details, I focused my degree in religion and mythology. Much to the annoyance of my professors, I managed to turn every paper into something mythology based. Senior year rolled around and I got to work on my thesis, in between video and card games. Ok, I waited until the last minute, but I work best under pressure! Anyways, I wrote my whole thesis and presented it to the three professors who I had chosen to be on my board. The history professor I had chosen, read it, looked at me and flat our said “This is completely wrong. This thesis, is wrong. Here are 25 books why your thesis is wrong.” I wanted to cry. I did cry. I threw a chair. I yelled, I gave up, I cried some more and I drowned my sorrows in easy cheese and Oreos. I had failed. For the first time in my life, I gave up…but that’s when I realized…
I’ll Tell You When I’ve Had Enough!!!
1.) You Will Make The Best Friends You Will Ever Have In College, And They Will Be There For You Whenever You Need Them
Token College Friends!….No Pun Intended!
I stormed back into my girlfriend at the time’s apartment, sulking and full of processed cheese. I explained what happened and that I had given up. I’d screw the thesis, fail, but I still had good enough grades to graduate. That’s when someone made a call to my old friend from Freshman and Sophomore year, who had transferred to another college by this point. Unbeknownst to me, he heard what had happened, gotten in his car and started driving. Two hours passed and the door swung open. “YOU STUPID PIECE OF SHIT, YOU DON’T GIVE UP. NO ONE KNOWS MORE ABOUT MYTHOLOGY THEN YOU!” The rant continued for about ten minutes and we got to work. With the help of my friends, I used the books this professor had given me to prove me wrong…to prove him wrong. This plucky little Scottish bastard drove all the way up there and singlehandedly made me pass my thesis. Sometimes, all you need is a little help. You will learn that.
After college, a lot of your friends will move away, far away so that you can’t drive to see them. They will still be there. Especially today, with all the Facebooking and Tweeting you damn kids do. I can hang out with these friends and it’s like no time has ever passed. We may give each other crap, get married, have kids or do other adult stuff, but nothing ever really changes. I know I can count on all my college friends to be there for me when I need it. I love all my friends in their own ways, but why I think the ones I made in college were different is because we all but lived together. Hell, I did live with some. We saw each other at our best, our worst and all our inbetweens. Now who’s up for some Ultimate Frisbee?