College Daze This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   What exactly is college in my eyes? My definition would go something like this. College - the uncharted territory, the mystical life beyond high school in which no one knows if you were the most popular person or the friendless wonder that sat alone at lunch every day, playing subject to the wrath of the football players' spitballs. This new home away from home is where the tight grip of your parents is suddenly loosened. College means freedom and fun beyond your wildest dreams, right? Think again, party animal! Although I am definitely looking forward to going away next year, I am fully aware of the responsibilities, worries, and problems.

If you're used to home-cooked family meals, complete with your meat precut - get out of the habit. Start eating TV dinners because it's a rude awakening when a woman in a hairnet, plopping clumpy mashed potatoes onto your plate, becomes your personal chef.

Does your mother clean your room? Unless she plans on driving to school every day, with dust rags and vacuum in hand, learn to make a bed! And don't forget, most vacuums have to be plugged in first, then turned on.

Let's talk about friends! Now, I know that by the first week, you'll probably meet a group of people who are just like you. However, the first day, unless you've grown so attached to your tight clique from high school that you go to college with them (like a 90210 set-up), you probably won't know a single soul. If you're a people person, like me, this shouldn't pose a problem, but a shy person might need a few lessons in being loud and outgoing (that's outgoing - not obnoxious!). My dream is that my roommate and I will be long-lost best friends (who wear the same size clothes) and by some twist of fate, end up sharing a dorm room. My worst fear - a messy clotheshorse that leaves Cocoa Puffs on the floor until they become part of the rug. She also makes a habit of walking in with her boyfriend at 3:00 a.m. only to blare his loud noise, I mean music (Marilyn Manson, with my luck) in my ears.

Have I mentioned the hard work that the professors will probably regularly supply you with so you can make the most out of the $20,000 and the right arm that your parents are paying each year? Sooner or later, your parents will run out of valuable limbs! That's when you come in. I have two words for you: Work Study. Those two words can put a real damper on your social life!

Let's face it, almost every teenager looks forward to going away to school and why wouldn't we. I expect college to be some of the best years of my life, but I also expect it to be a lot of confusion, frustration, and hard work. Now that I think of it, maybe that's what will make it so much fun! c


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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