September 1, 2011 by Kristen
Despite my college degree not seeming worth the thousands of tuition dollars I spent, college as an experience was incredibly valuable. I graduated this past May, and am feeling withdrawal as everyone moves back to campus and enjoys “Welcome Week.” Though I’m still in school as a grad. student, it isn’t quite the same. (Though I’m furiously clinging to any sort of “college student” label while I can! Especially at the movies. Hello? discount.)
Unlike my previous post about the let-downs of my college degree, I wouldn’t trade the college experience for anything. Here are some things that make me glad I did the whole 4-year college thing:
-In college you can get away with things you cannot get away with anywhere else. In high school, I had to endure a very strict dress code, where shirts had to be tucked in, flip-flops were not permitted, and plaid was forbidden because “the devil hid in the corners.” (what?) My freshman year of college, I wore guy’s sweatpants to my 8am lecture twice a week. Though I headed to the gym right after class, that’s just not a sufficient reason to wear man pants to class. But I did it…and I wasn’t alone. (Guys wore man pants to class too.)
-I learned to know exactly what I could get away with. It became a personal challenge to see how much class I could skip without it negatively affecting my grade. Records: skipped 6 biology classes in a row, grade: 4.0. For another class, I skipped a month and a half. But the professor was wacky & had informed us that we would all get A’s no matter what because she didn’t believe in grades…so I can’t rightfully count that as my record. Shame. However, that leads me to…
-Crazy professors! Professors are so ridiculous. Once a professor was struggling to untie her fuzzy scarf at the beginning of class and with a straight-face stated, “I had to strangle a Muppet to make this scarf.” Win. Another professor would always do George Bailey impressions in class. (I was the awkward student who always laughed.) He made it work Tim Gunn-style with his all-tweed suit tucked into snow boots.
-My skills in diplomatic relations improved because of college. I learned to choose my battles wisely. Neighbors smoking weed incessantly? Just buy air fresheners. Wake up in the middle of the night to the sounds of glass shattering and a guy screaming at his girlfriend? Call the cops from the safety of your own apartment. People in the outdoor pool at 3am during finals week? Cannonball. Sleep is for the weak.
-I learned that I love literature and hate politics. Prior to college I had been all about politics, and even majored in Political Science for a hot second (aka, a semester). Issues in World Politics quickly taught me that I don’t care about world politics or its issues. My Sarah Palin impressions just didn’t cut it…
-Everyone needs to deal with public transportation at some point in their lives. Who doesn’t appreciate the kindly bus driver that drops you off right in front of your apartment, even though it’s not an actual stop? (Yes, that happened to me.) The internal debate: look like a fool and chase down the bus so you’re not late for class or salvage some dignity and lose participation points for your tardiness. (Pride always made me choose the latter.) It’s always fun to encounter folks doing lateral raises on the bus with the dumbbells they brought for such occasion, or awkwardly avoid eye contact with the people who talk to themselves. My favorite: college students who reek of alcohol at 2 in the afternoon. On a Tuesday. Forget a bar-mitzvah, you’re not a real man (or woman) until you’ve been forced to endure the bus system for at least a year.
-College forced diversity upon me. I lived with an international student for a year—she was the sweetest girl. Unfortunately, the food she cooked can only be described as smelling like hot diapers marinated in fish juice. Note: due to the smallness of our dorm, all of my clothes were kept in a make-shift kitchen closet. I wasn’t super popular in class that year.
Man, I love college.
Any crazy college stories out there?