Okay, so maybe going away to college isn't exactly like being thrown out into the real world, but it's definitely a stark contrast from what you're used to while being at home. College is filled with all kinds of new feats to tackle--ancient laundromat-style washing machines, paperwork you're actually old enough to file for yourself now, and yes, even the dreaded plague that comes upon us once everyone is shoved back into close quarters each moving-in day. Of course, everyone deals with these obstacles in their own way. Some scour the internet, others ask a friend, and some just go with the tried and true method of calling home to mom. Here's a list of things you may or may not have had to speed-dial the boss lady about...or maybe look forward to doing so in the future.
1. "What would you do if I pierced...?"
You're probably at least 18 by now, or will be in the very near future. With that comes the excitement of being able to legally sign away your soul if the opportunity were to strike, though if your campus is in a college town it's more likely that you might be tempted by the local piercing and tattoo shop. You could finally get that nose ring you always wanted or brave the tattoo gun in an act of rebellion. If you're anything like me, you've probably done both by now. Explaining the process of having metal anchors punched into your skin is always fun at family functions.
2. "Will I die if I drank...?"
At home, food may not even last long enough to become expired, or perhaps you were lucky enough to have meals prepared for you to avoid the extra guess work. College refrigerators are a breeding ground for all kinds of germs and moldy, forgotten items--especially if you're using a communal one. Maybe you didn't even find it in the fridge, maybe your roommate left some clear laundry detergent in a water bottle (oddly specific but trust me, it has happened) and you're worried you might have poisoned yourself, who knows? College dining means not only learning to balance your diet but also keeping an eye on the state of what you might be consuming.
3. "How long should I cook this for?"
You could probably just look this one up online, but even if she's a mediocre chef at best, there's no one in this world who cooks quite like your mom. Even the more experienced college chef will have a question every now and then, and for us more unfortunate folks, well...we may have to check in often if we don't want to set the dorm lounge on fire. Sometimes even the best of us forget to put water in our Easy Mac or forget about those cookies we decided to make instead of studying.
4. "Should I change my major?"
College is all about finding yourself and deciding what you want to do for the rest of your life. No pressure, right? Maybe your major just isn't what you thought it would be, or maybe you're feeling ambitious and think you should add another. Who better to consult than your mom: the woman who may have raised you for only your entire life thus far. Sure, advisors are incredibly useful for this kind of thing, but I've found but there's nothing quite as therapeutic as hashing it out over the phone with a familiar voice from home to guide you through your frustrations.
5. "I'm locked out, what do I do?!"
Dorm rooms, vehicles, apartments, you name it. If it has a door, I've probably been locked out of it. Personally, if I'm in panic mode the first person I think to call is my mom, whether she can bail me out or not. Not to mention that it's significantly less creepy to be sitting outside of your house in the dark with someone on the phone...you know, just in case the zombies come for you or whatever you find creepiest at night. Jack Nicholson, maybe?
6. "Will you call them for me?"
There's nothing I hate more than having to call the doctor's office. They put you on hold, making a convenient appointment is nearly impossible half of the time, and as if talking to one stranger over the phone weren't bad enough already, you typically have to talk to two or three different people if you want a prescription filled--and that's not counting the pharmacist! Life was so much easier when mom took care of that for you.
7. "Do you think I have...?"
The flu, you say? Of course not, mom. Based on my symptoms, Mayo Clinic says I have stage four fingernail cancer so I'm probably dying any day now. Seriously, though, it is remarkably easy to get sick while at college, and without mom there to comfort you or tell you what to do, life can be rough. Besides, it's so much easier to google your symptoms and resign yourself to a slow and painful death than admit your mom is right and you should probably go to the health clinic or just take something already. There's nothing quite like the comfort of whining to mom when all else fails, am I right?
8. "Will you buy me dinner?"
You know what's better than takeout? Free takeout. Sometimes you just don't want to eat in the dining hall, or maybe the late hour or weather is keeping you from seeking out a real meal elsewhere. Like most college students, I'm pretty much always hungry, so my mother gets to hear my griping about the dining hall fare or my dread for the long walk in the snow for a warm meal via my campus pass. For all the dinners I was too lazy to acquire myself: thanks, mom!
9. "Can I come home yet?"
There's always that one moment where you realize you have absolutely zero interest in being on campus. Maybe it's been a rough week, you've been cooped up with the same people for far too long, or maybe you're finally running on empty as finals week wreaks havoc upon the student body. (Personally, I probably look at bit like Dr. Frankenfurter myself by the end of finals week). Nothing beats the comfort of your own bed and finally being able to just shout across the house when you need your mother's immediate attention. After weeks of calling her relentlessly about all the stress and drama of being at school, there's no one I miss more than my mom...even if she's only been a text away the whole time.