College is supposed to be some of the best years of your life - and it is. I mean, what could possibly be better than staying up until 7 a.m. to finish a project that's due in an hour, only to get to class and find out that the professor decided that you all deserved a little more time to work on it? Or what about when you get up bright and early to make sure that you make it to your 8 a.m. on time, and when you get there and there's no one else there, you check your e-mail and find out that you could have just stayed in bed? If these aren't the absolute highlights of college, then I don't know what is. Oh, wait... I actually do know what is. Contrary to popular belief, there is more to college than just attending all of your classes and spending countless hours in the library. Being a college student offers certain experiences that you just can't get anywhere else, and these are what we really miss most over summer vacation.
First of all, there's the obvious - college parties. Of course, there will be parties at home, but none of these will ever compare to a trashy Friday night, stumbling around campus with your friends. It's only natural that we miss going out every weekend (and let's face it, even some weekdays) with the people we hold near and dear. There's just something special about waking up from a well-deserved nap, spending two hours getting ready, and going out with everyone you've ever known. You can't forget about the pregame, where you support each other's underage drinking habits more than you support each other's day-to-day study habits, and you definitely can't forget about wondering where you'll end up (or who you'll end up with) at the end of the night. Though potentially shocking, these events are an almost inevitable part of college that allows us to find who we really are. College parties can be seen as one of two things: mayhem, or our way of learning how to get ourselves out of trouble.
Next, we have the independence. Being away at school, I have my own place. It might not be perfect, but it sure is mine, and I can basically do whatever I want. If I wanna live off of Ramen noodles and Poptarts for three weeks, you can bet I'm gonna do it. If I wanna postpone doing laundry until I've worn every single article of clothing that I own at least twice, you can bet I'm gonna do that too. But it's not just about the freedom to be irresponsible when we want to. It's the opportunity for us to learn how to be independent. If we want to eat, we need to go grocery shopping. We need to learn how to cook, and clean, or live in our own (and sometimes other people's) filth. We miss just being able to get up and go without clearing it with mom and dad first, and we miss knowing that we needed to do it all for ourselves.
Finally, we have the judgment free zone. In college, people don't really judge you for things. More so, they applaud you because they understand why you're doing whatever you're doing. If you're showing up to class in pajamas, they understand, because they pulled that all-nighter too. If you're riding across campus on a Razor scooter, they're wishing you had room for one more. They understand when you take a fifteen minute nap in the hallway between classes, or when you're double-fisting coffees on your way into the library. An outsider might not always know what it's like - not everyone can understand what you're going through, or what it takes to get through it. We miss being away at college; we miss our time and place to do exactly what we have to do, when we have to do it, and not needing to justify it to anyone at all.
Even though we don't miss getting up early and going to class, we can't help but reminisce all the things that we love about college. So whether it's those roommate trips to the dining hall, or those late night walks around campus, we have so much to miss during our summer vacation. I'm not saying that we're counting down the days until we get to go back, but if you were curious, it's 52. 52 days.