Ever since first grade, you felt like a celebrity the morning you walked through the school’s doors on your birthday. Everyone knew. Your friends would decorate your locker for all the other students to see, or your class would sing as you passed out cupcakes. But, in college, it feels like any other day. Part of you still expects everyone in your lecture hall to somehow know it’s your big day and scream, “happy birthday!” as you walk in the door, but those cheers never come.
As you sit in class, taking that midterm that so cruelly fell on your birthday, you think how unfair it is that your professor gave it on this day. But, of course, he didn’t know it was your birthday. No one does.
Every few weeks or so, you see a sign on your way to class that describes a “free” item that will be available to the student body. Since nothing about college is free, and you spent your last $20 at the bar Saturday, these advertisements always sounds exciting.
The freebie you’ll go to class late for: “Free T-shirts outside the Union! 1-3pm!”
The one that sounds good on a boring Tuesday night: “First 50 at Women’s Hockey game get free water bottles!”
The ad that is so vague you’re intrigued: “Senior day May 2nd! Prizes! Giveaways! Free food!”
They all seem appealing for different reasons, but they have one thing in common: They turn out to be so unappealing that you don’t even want it for free. There’s only XXL shirts left, you have to sit through the whole 3-hour game before you get the souvenir, and the prizes are keychains.
…It’s a party. The more people the better. As long as you can gauge from the front yard commotion that it’s a populated party, who cares who you know? In high school, everyone knew everyone, so that wasn’t a problem. After college, you know better than to show up unwelcomed to an apartment. But college? It’s fair game to pass by the notorious party spots and go in without a personal invite. So, just drop a common name like “John” or “Katie,” and confidently walk in past the drunk guy who’s trying to run the VIP party he’s always dreamed of.
"I live here!" someone yells, as he pushes by to fill up his cup. Well isn’t that guy annoying? You know the guy I’m talking about. No, not the guy who actually lives there—that’s acceptable—I’m talking about the friend of the guy who lives there. The guy who thinks he is better than everyone else at the party because he crashes on the upstairs couch every Friday night and has played video games on that couch more times than you. He thinks he lives there, and he wants to live there, but he doesn’t. And neither do those other four guys who yell the same thing.
Most of the time it’s awesome living on a college campus, filled with people our age, but sometimes we wish they weren’t, well, everywhere. When you go to pick up your prescription from the infirmary and a pharmacy student working behind the counter hands it to you, that’s awkward. When you want to go up to the ice cream sundae bar but don’t want the table of baseball players to judge you, that’s uncomfortable. When you slip on a patch of ice walking to class and 30 kids see you, that’s embarrassing. When you got no sleep, didn’t have time to shower, and run into someone you don’t want to, that’s every day of college.
Sometimes it’s the young male T.A. who brings up how crowded the bar was on Thursday. Other times it’s the young female T.A. who favors the wise-guys in class and laughs at all their jokes. Whatever the context, it’s annoying when teacher assistants mention that they drink too much, have a Facebook, and find chapter six as dull as we do.
We get it. You’re younger than our professors, and you can kind of relate to us more… but this class still sucks.
We’ve all had those nights. Pick one: You weren’t in the mood to go out with your friends; your runny nose turned into a cold; you wished you could fall asleep next to your dog; you craved your favorite home-cooked meal.
When this night happens, the last place you want to be is in your confined dorm room, alone, eating a bowl of cereal, while overhearing a bass thumping from your neighbors. In three weeks it’s Thanksgiving break, but, tonight, you wish you could be at home on your couch, lying next to your dog, full from your favorite home-cooked meal.
All you want to do is get away from your noisy dorm room and cram for tomorrow’s test, but you encounter a delay. You must first do a 20-minute walk around the library searching for an empty chair near an outlet for your laptop. This becomes even more difficult if you come to study with friends. Finding a place for all four of you to sit and plug-in might be impossible. Why has no one solved this annoyance yet? The school can renovate entire buildings but can’t install more outlets? Most of us like procrastinating when we have work to do, but hunting through the library isn’t what we had in mind.
All of us have our “spot” in class. It is the seat we began sitting in the first week of the semester and haven’t moved since. We have become very comfortable with the particular view from this angle and the people surrounding us. It is for that reason that we are confused and annoyed when we walk into class and see someone else sitting in our spot. Doesn’t he have his own “unassigned assigned” seat he enjoys sitting in? And why isn’t he sitting in it today?
There is always one kid who loves participating. Never two; somehow there just happens to be one found in every class. He is always answering a rhetorical question, asking something about the study guide no one’s even looked at yet, and constantly sharing personal anecdotes with the class. You’ve learned that he has two older brothers and transfered here his sophomore year, which is already more than you cared to know.
You most likely went weeks without knowing what this guy even looked like until the one day you turned around out of curiosity. You never turned to look again after that.
Don’t you always wish you could take your pet back to school with you? Pretend for a minute that you wouldn’t have to walk him in between classes or keep a litter box under your desk. Just think about how much less stressful typing a paper would be if your dog was resting his head on your lap, like he did in high school. Or, after dealing with an annoying roommate all week, how peaceful it would be to snuggle with your cat. As much as you might miss home, you’ll never wish that your family were at school with you. But your pets? Yeah, we wish they could come to college, too.
Once a year, your school brings in a band or singer for its end of the year concert. The weather is warming up, the tickets will be cheap, and screaming to lyrics with all your college friends would be awesome. The only thing missing is an artist you actually want to see.
Who usually winds up coming? Some C-list rapper or a band who made it big in 2001. All those rumors floating around about Jay-Z coming were, of course, false. The only thing more annoying is when you find out he’s actually going to perform at your friend’s school. Of course.