I earnestly considered titling this post, “Who seriously does this on purpose a second time?” (Also in the line-up was “Always a freshman, never a post-grad” and “Netflix, I love you”). But the basic premise of the following list is simply that coming back to community college as a technical freshman (but like, way older) has reminded me why we all try so hard to eventually leave college in the first place. Not that it isn’t a barrel of hoots and all, but at some point every baby eaglette will look around its nest and say to itself, “I know it’s a long way down from here, but I’d much rather end up decomposing on the forest floor in a pile of feathers than spend the rest of my life eating $2.00 pizza-pockets from the cafeteria.”
Or, you know, something along those lines.
Now that we’re officially finished with the first full month back at school, I’d like to share my list of all the true things about community college life that I’d forgotten in my three-year absence.
- The freshman fifteen is not a joke. It is serious. It is very, very serious.
- Putting money on your print-card for the library may mean surviving on a smaller gas budget, but there’s no way you’re giving up your daily coffee ritual. Priorities, bro.
- There is no right way to make friends in class. Everyone is just going to feel very awkward until after midterms. Get used to it.
- Three sequential weeks at the same desk confirms place ownership. If someone takes your spot at anytime after the three week mark, it is within your legal right to Regina-George-glare them into humiliation.
- Procrastination has a whole new meaning. Well, the meaning is the same, you just demonstrate it a little more prolifically.
- Bus schedules, student parking and scantrons become a much bigger part of your life than you ever wanted or hoped for.
- People who ask clarifying questions about homework that you’re too lazy or scared to ask are appreciated. People who ask if there will be homework are not.
- There will always be someone who cares less than you do. Unfortunately, this does not help the Curve.
- Grunge is almost in fashion. Don’t even bother with the mascara.
- Crying the first day of class will brand you for the rest of the semester by everyone who has figured out how to juggle classes and jobs and transportation like real adults already. Don’t be the person who cries on the first day. Be the person who cries on the second day.
- People who try having existential discussions before your early morning class have not yet realized that college is just glorified high school and no one cares about their opinion before eight o’clock in the moooorning. You are not obligated to talk to them pre-coffee.
- There is such a thing as “pre-coffee.”
- The quiet ones are either brilliant, cool or clueless. Anyone who talks is way too excited to be here.
- Group projects are where teachers send smart kids to die.
- If you eat at the cafeteria, the cafeteria will eat you. Your soul is precious. Protect it.
- Everything you learned in high school has no useful purpose in college. Everything you didn’t learn in high school but should have is sitting just beyond the reach of your panic-stricken mind, laughing at you in deep, drawn-out chuckles.
*Back in my day sweatpants (or yoga pants) were still a thing. Apparently, since I’ve been gone, leggings are the new do? Oh children.