Being a college student can be quite an experience. Classes aren't the same as high school. Parties aren't the same as high school. Life isn't the same as high school. Whether you're a freshman or a senior, whether you live on campus or if you commute, there are just some things about college that you miss while you're back home for the summer... and some that you don't.
Housing - While I was back home for the summer, I could only think about one thing: moving back into my on campus apartment. Living at home, I was constantly missing my freedom. I was missing having my own place. I was always with my family, doing whatever we always do as a family. At school, I have my own home. I can decorate it however I want. I can invite over whoever I want. I can come home at whatever time I want, with no one to stop me from doing any of it. If I want to fall asleep on the kitchen floor at two o'clock in the afternoon for absolutely no reason at all, I can. If I want to hang an old hubcap up on my wall and call it art, I can. If I want to let the garbage can get so full that it overflows all over the floor, I can. Unfortunately, now that I'm back at school, I'm realizing that on campus housing is one of the things that I definitely did not miss while I was living at home over the summer. I did not miss sleeping in a twin size bed. Those things are uncomfortable even for just me, and they're quite impossible for a sleepover. I did not miss the three foot by three foot shower space with a shower curtain that consistently attaches itself to my vulnerable body mid shower. I did not miss having a refrigerator that leaks all over the place and freezes everything within it. I did not miss the dishwasher that randomly spews soap bubbles out of every possible crevice until they have covered the kitchen floor. I did not miss the unalterable arctic temperatures in the buildings. I did not miss sitting in kitchen chairs that feel as though they could collapse beneath the wait of a nickel at every meal. I did not miss having an oven who's front panel is literally dangling on by a thread. I did not miss having a shelf in my closet that is almost too tall to reach. I did not miss having to sign into the building every night when I return home. Most importantly, I did not miss having to prove to someone, weekly, that I am in fact still maintaining life on my own and that my roommates and I have not yet died or set anything on fire.
Dining - Being home for the summer, my schedule got a little crazy and I often found myself skipping meals or eating super unhealthily. Come midnight (and sometimes even later), the only dining options available, if any, are unappealing fast food places, or whatever junk food one could find in their pantry. All summer, I found myself saying things like "If we were on campus right now, we'd be at Birch," or "If I was back in my apartment, I know I'd have something better to eat." A week and a half into being back on campus, I am starting to realize how much better off I was at home. I still have yet to go grocery shopping and have been mooching off of my roommates for days. I went to the freshman dining hall (not by choice, but because it was the only thing that was open at the time, and found myself eating curly fries and cucumbers at every meal. I am currently awaiting the perfect opportunity to ask my mother to take me grocery shopping so that she can buy me things slightly healthier than the Taco Bell I ordered at 2:15 this morning. As much as I hate to admit it, I regret how often I took advantage of having home cooked meals prepared for me and having common household ingredients replaced without me having to buy them.
Work Load - Over the past few months, I had been working a decent amount. I started my summer working thirty hour work weeks. That slowly increased to thirty-two and thirty-six hour work weeks. It eventually became thirty-eight and forty hour work weeks, and I ended my summer with a fifty hour work week. I would wake up in the morning, get ready for work and arrive by 11:30. I would work until 5:30, return home, get ready to go to the gym, work out for an hour or so, and return home, yet again, to make dinner (or eat the dinner that was already made) and go to bed, only to awake the following morning and repeat it all over again. I often complained about how busy I was and how little free time I had for myself, even though I had weekends off. Now, I am attempting to take six classes and working three jobs, while being an undergraduate teaching assistant and holding an e-board position for an organization that I am involved with.
I realize how easy my summer actually was, and I find myself wishing daily that I could have that schedule back. I want to work one job and relax on the weekends. I want to come home to delicious meals already made for me. I want to wake up in my full size bed to find that my mom has folded my laundry and that my dad has fixed the things that I lead him to believe that I was incapable of doing on my own. Although I am excited to be back at school with my friends, and I am eager to continue to prove myself as an adult in the real world, I do miss being at home.