Going Off To College (published August 2008)

So, as most of you have figured (or been waiting to read about), I’m starting college next week. Which is a strange and unusual thing that they do not warn you about in high school. Sure, they beat your head in with the importance of writing skills and algebraic equations, but nowhere in that four year  time span do they EVER tell you about what happens when you get ready to go to college. Because the whole world goes crazy, and I for one was not ready for that. j

Now, first off, going to college means that you have to pay for stuff. With your own money. Which sucks. Really bad. But, in all fairness, my mom did teach me how to find a bargain well. Maybe too well. The six dollar vending machine that I purchased from Goodwill (yes it works, yes it’s a real vending machine and yes it’s full size) was a real surprise to my mom and dad. So were the three dollar snow board, the four dollar George Foreman, the 2 dollar wedding gown and the 27 pairs of shoes. Maybe I didn’t actually NEED any of this stuff, but hey–it was only like 5 bucks, right?

Then there’s the shop for dorm room portion of the summer, where suddenly every night for a week you find yourself running around town trying to find the best deals on tiny fridges, microwaves, lamps and rugs. Actually, pretty much anything tiny you’ll want to pick up right away. Oh. And a bottle or two of Fabreeze. Let me tell you about dorm rooms: I have smelled the future and it is ripe with possibility. Trust me. It’s quite interesting actually. Just touring the dorms leads one into a rousing game of “Guess the Stank”.

And there there’s your parents. Because they are going to try and play it really cool. Sure, you’re moving away. But it’s fine. Really! You’re going to come back and visit all the time, right? And we’re going to meet for coffee and hang out and talk about college, right? And you’re going to make sure and tell them if you’re having any trouble, right? Right??

See, going off to college creates this sort of crazy need for affirmation in your parents. Because they know that you know that they know that they are going to miss you like crazy, especially for those first few weeks. But it’s cool, because you know that they know that you know that you’re going to miss them like crazy too. But both parties play it all cool because once it’s out, there’s going to have to be some sort of crazy hug fest and that’s always awkward. And there might be a trip down memory lane involving embarrassing  childhood videos, and none of us want that, do we?

But as far as I can tell, I’ve lucked out. My roommate doesn’t worship satan (but listens to rap music which is pretty close, but I’m sure an earphone truce will soon be created), and my parents are still at that “pretend it’s only for a few weeks” phase. But I know that pretty soon that’s going out the window, along with having someone do my laundry for me, having someone there to yell at me to clean my room, and someone reminding me that I need to save my money instead of spending it on stupid crap.

But it’s okay because I’m only like 20 minutes away, right? So I’ll be able to come home whenever I want, right?


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