Top Ten Things You Missed About College During the Summer
1. Meal plan
You never think you’ll be thankful for a meal plan until your parents are out to dinner, your car is out of gas and you’re seriously hungry for something that doesn’t come out of a box. Bribing your friends to bring you Chinese food only seems to work 2 percent of the time. At least the sometimes-questionable, always reliable Newcomb Hall usually has at least one item that requires minimal effort to eat. As someone who resorted to oatmeal or pasta more times than I’d like to admit, I’m not ashamed to say I kind of miss University dining.
2. No parents
Don’t get me wrong. I miss my parents and family immensely while I’m away at school and I’m grateful such a supportive group is always there for me. But coming home and being given a curfew and a million rules isn’t exactly thrilling. At school, I could let my laundry sit as long as I wanted, wherever I wanted. At home, I’m forced to actually do it — more than once a month. I mean, who does that?! And so what if I want to stay up until 3 a.m. googling irrelevant things and eating ice cream? Healthy or unhealthy, I miss having no one to stop me.
3. Constant activities
Though summertime should be — and is — relaxing, no one can deny it gets boring at times. After watching all 10 seasons of Friends in three weeks, it’s pretty clear I need a hobby/friends/the constant bustle of college to keep me busy. Meetings and classes are fun to complain about, but they give you something to do other than slowly becoming a part of your couch.
I don’t live in NOVA. Because of this, I haven’t seen most of my school friends since May. My home friends argue that I went 18 years of my life without my college friends, and can thus survive a summer without them too. But really, hoo else can bond with you over how life-changing our selection of late night food is? Hoo else won’t correct you when you say “first-year” or ‘Grounds’? Hoo else will change “who” to “hoo” in all instances, even if it is completely inappropriate?
5. How close everything is
I am not a person who hates driving. I think it’s calming, and it’s one of the few places I can sing and not have anyone tell me to stop. Ultimately, though, driving to see your friends or to eat is annoying. At school, all you have to do to see anyone is walk out the door and down a sidewalk or two. Food is at most a five minute excursion. And there’s absolutely no excuse to stay in on a weekend when it’s so easy to get to a party.
6. Social scene
Speaking of parties, nothing at home quite compares to the University’s social scene. With multiple fraternity parties, apartment parties, bars, pregames, concerts and shows to attend every night, it’s almost harder to avoid being social. I love a basement party just as much as the next gal, but I’m ready to return to the bigger and better world of Charlottesville. We weren’t voted the No. 1 Party School by Playboy for nothing!
7. Sporting events
When someone asks me what my favorite things are about my school, I never fail to mention our immense spirit. One of the best moments of my first year came when we beat Duke at the John Paul Jones Arena this spring and I got to storm the court and sing the “Good Ol’ Song” with thousands of my peers on national television. A trip to a preseason football camp has an excitement factor of, well, zero — but it does get me seriously excited to get back to Klöckner and Scott Stadium to cheer for the Hoos.
Obviously no one needs explanation why this Mecca of a breakfast place gets its own category. There is no better hangover/exam-over locale to simultaneously eat your feelings and see everyone you hoped you wouldn’t. Showing up to the bagel place in my town involves a lot of soccer moms and crying toddlers — not a scene I typically like to get myself involved in. Even as a New Yorker, I miss my Charlottesville bagels.
9. Questionable wardrobe choices
At home, it’s a constant struggle to find appropriate outfits for a family dinner, a friend’s barbecue or a business-casual internship. School provides me with the wonderful opportunity to dress like an idiot — theme parties! — whenever I please. My friends tell me my signature style at school is a t-shirt so long it doesn’t look like I’m wearing any pants and I’m proud to say I miss the days when my tallest wardrobe hurdle was picking out which gym clothes to wear to class.
Last, but certainly not least — okay, maybe a little bit least — is the reason most of us chose to go to the University: the classes. Though most of college is all fun and games, we are a top-ranked university for academic reasons too. Personally, I’ve watched enough TV to lose a quarter of my brain cells and I need to start class again to at least pretend to get myself back on track. I miss studying — read: complaining about studying — and actually using my brain for more than just figuring out how much to tip my waiter.