That sounds so wrong, doesn’t it? College spoiling someone…college is the place of wretched roommates, life-sucking tests and projects, dreaded final exams, and suppers of grilled cheese made on irons.
But that’s where we are wrong. Let me list a few ways college spoiled me.
1. Routine. I come from a house where the only routine is…no routine. Over the years, I’ve caught glimpses of the frustration that lack of routine can cause, but never fully appreciated it. I couldn’t understand why my older sisters came home from college with this annoying habit of constantly cleaning and wanting everything to happen right away. But now I understand. I love my routine at college. It keeps me sane. Every day, I wake up, shower, eat breakfast, go to work or class, and from 8 to at least 5, my day is planned. My evenings aren’t fully planned, but I always have a mental agenda. At home, it is nothing like that. And yes, it drives me insane. If we’re making supper, I want to make supper, eat supper, go on to something else, not talk about what we might have for supper while browsing Facebook…..and eat 2 hours later.
1a. Cleanliness. This is not the case at all schools, but at mine, we are required to have clean rooms 6 days a week. Seriously. Our rooms are checked and there are penalties for not meeting standard. So things are almost always reasonably neat and clean, and if they aren’t, they will be within 24 hours. Not so here….and I find myself impulsively straightening things as I move about the house.
2. Access to everything. At college, I am a 5 minute or less walk from a gym, library, game room, snack shop (with 3 restaurants), dining common, soccer fields, running track, art museum, and planetarium. Here…..I have yet to figure out a work out schedule. I don’t want to pay for a gym for 3 months. I can’t walk into a dining common full of food choices, take my pick, and leave my dishes for someone else afterwards. This can be extremely frustrating.
3. Adulthood. This hit me just Sunday, but at college, everyone treats me like an adult. All of my professors are extremely respectful. They never treat us like children. The environment is one of respect and professional civility. Just two days after returning home, I took my sister and some friends (all high schoolers) out to eat. The typical southern endearments of the staff (“sweetie” “young lady” “darling”) caught me off guard. I’m no longer used to being treated like a little girl. Some might argue that in southern culture, they weren’t even doing that…just being friendly. In that case, I am simply no longer used to being treated that casually.
This all boils down to one thing: focus. I have become accustomed to everything in my life being focused on a single goal: making college work for me. When I’m at school, I seldom have to worry about anyone but myself. My only focus is success. Be that cleanliness, organization, agenda, or just a relief from all domestic duties, it is justified because my focus is school. At home, I have no idea how to cope. I’m still taking classes, so the focus is still there, but it fights with my family, boyfriend, books, British TV shows, and a full-time job. I just don’t know how to mesh that all.
How’s that for a first college post? High schoolers, go to college, it will spoil you! But you may have no idea how to live with normal people again…