I Miss College, A List of Ten

  1. I miss having nothing to do, not wanting to call friends, and having too much energy that results in rearranging my dorm furniture into layouts that I never would have thought possible my freshman year. I miss piecing together the furniture, stealing ideas from rooms I’ve visited. I miss the confidence I had in completely disassembling a dorm bed, and gaining the intimate knowledge needed to reassemble it at the end of the year.
  2. I miss standing in doorways of rooms like they were windows into case studies. I miss people’s personalities laid out before me in the form of bedspreads, books, and pictures of loved ones. I miss how you could know a lot about them just by peeking into their room because they were you suitemate or a friend of a friend that you’ve dropped in on while hanging out with said friend.
  3. I miss walking by the dorms with laundry rooms in them and being able to smell the crisp fresh scent of laundry that hit my face in waves of warmth and familiarity. There was no guilt that I hadn’t done my laundry in three weeks. There was only the lingering comfort of something that reminded me of home in a place that felt very much like home.
  4. I miss Blitzkrieg-ing professors. Office Hours weren’t real. At least, they weren’t strict. I miss knocking on the door and then taking a seat before the professor managed to offer me one. I miss that feeling of letting my purse and backpack drop to the floor as my shoulders slumped and I looked at the professor with the eyes of someone realizing what life is and what it means, simultaneously illusioned and disillusioned.
  5. I miss the shameful yet silly feeling I got when my friends decided to go to the Nest for the fourth night in a row. The knowledge that we didn’t go to a party university hung in the air, but also, it was all a game. It was funny somehow that we chose to sit in a condensed caf with a ping pong table over one of our rooms. We sacrificed privacy for the sound of other people hanging out near us, all the while talking about things that made us laugh or made us angry or just made us.
  6. I miss lying on the floor of the P room in the Shakespeare aisle when I was on the brink of an anxiety attack. I miss the smell of old books and the sounds of (sometimes/somewhat) hushed movement around the library that was occasionally broken up by a loud laugh or shout. I miss the deep comfort of my usual surroundings.
  7. I miss knowing the people I saw walking around, whether I liked them enough to say hi to them, or hated them enough that I ducked into the chapel or the science building to avoid walking near them. I miss knowing people even if I don’t really know them. I miss the community of souls that were connected by Red, White, and Black and a University name.
  8. I miss going out at any time of night to do any sort of thing– sit at Starbucks, run to Meijer, that ill fated night I went to a club which will never be repeated. I miss the bubble of safety I had to o out and explore and then safely return to my dorm room of a college my parents approved of. I miss being both a kid and an adult with no pressure to be either.
  9. I miss sitting in that professor’s class and having my mind blown by what s/he said. I miss disagreeing with that professor or another student in the class. I miss that ravenous monster in my chest that wanted to prove what I knew and to learn more at the same time. I miss sitting and thinking, “This is important. This is life changing. I’m on the cusp of something.”
  10. I miss never being farther than a fifteen minute walk from friends. I miss disturbing the library with laughter. I miss walking on the sitting walls like they were balancing beams while bitching about a professor. I miss sitting on the ground in odd places, both watching other students have confusion and panic over something being down that wasn’t normal, and also weighing the pros and cons with a friend about texting a crush.

I want to end with something inspiring, but really, I’m suffering from a ragingly nostalgic moment. There’s that terrible Doctor Who quote Sally Sparrow says; [Sadness is] happy for deep people. I can’t say for certain whether I find myself to be a deep person. I’d like to be a deep person, I think. Still, I do occasionally enjoy that deep ache that isn’t particularly pleasant, yet is altogether good. That ache of loss and remembrance that manages to fill your soul and complete you because that pain means something wonderful happened and you were a part of it, but also that in some way or another you are moving forward, changing and developing as a human being. I hope that you’re fortunate to miss something like I miss college.

 

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