Growing Up Sucks: 7 Reasons Why I Miss College Like Crazy

Ladder stile in SnowdoniaIn my head I’ve always pictured school as this tentative ladder we were all climbing — it started from Pre-k and went up to college (for the general population). Some people’s ladders broke before the end, and some people’s got more rungs added as time went on, but for the most part — this was the time line that you grew up expecting to follow.

So, what came after we reached the top of the ladders? My mental picture showed an open, weightless space into which we all took a giant leap and gracefully floated off to our separate ways to take our places in the “Real World.”  (I guess I was a pretty visual kid)

Well, I reached the top of my ladder last year, and I took the big leap into the weightless space. I hate to say that I was right all these years about what the metaphor of school and life would be like: I floated off into my separate way just like my friends did, and honestly — it sucks. But truthfully, it wasn’t that literal;  it’s not that I lost touch with everyone that makes me miss college like crazy.

It’s more like these 7 reasons here:

  1. I actually miss learning. Don’t get me wrong — I  will never miss studying or taking another test again, but when you’ve been mentally stimulated for 17 years of your life, you miss learning something and running home to your parents/roommates/friends and telling them, “Did you know…?” or “Guess what I learned today…”
  2. Going out needs an expense account, and partying will never be the same again. There’s no more conglomeration of 300 people in one huge house party or bar district, and forget about “college town prices.” Everything requires a cab, DD, and/or  triple the amount of money as it did in college.
  3. Everyone is getting married and having kids left and right — or is it just my friends? People still think I’m 15, and yet 90% of my high school friends (and I’m sure soon to be followed by college friends)  are domesticated. I just want to be in college again, when people were too busy hooking up and recovering from hangovers to care about wedding dresses and diapers.
  4. There’s no sense of intense camaraderie or pride anymore. Being in NYC is an exception, I guess, because New Yorkers are hardcore about their city, but even so — I just miss the football games, pep rallies, parades and college events that brought the entire university together. This is when I really feel like I’m floating off in my own space.
  5. The “future” is the present, now. I used to talk about “what I wanted to do when I grow up” and “what kind of guy I hope to marry ” and blah, blah, blah, but all of that is staring me in the face now, and sometimes it’s just too much! The transition between college graduate and adulthood is a nanosecond, and I really think we should send around a petition to make it longer.
  6. The weekends got shorter — by an entire day… They don’t start at noon on Friday when classes are out; they start at 7 or 8pm when you’re finished with work, and even then  — you’re tired as hell and barely want to do anything. By the time you make plans and follow through with them, it’s Saturday — which is the only day working people get to call a “day off” because Sunday means laundry, groceries and chores galore. Apparently, Fridays get cut with the rest of your paycheck…
  7. My friends were my family. There’s just nothing like walking down the hall of your dorm or the street and seeing anyone you want, and once you’re out of college, you realize how much you miss the accessibility of seeing your friends — who literally become family for that very reason. No matter how close you are, the Real World means you have to try that much harder to see each other — and floating around in your own space doesn’t make it that easy to do so…

Honestly, I would never trade in my college years for anything. I had some of the best and worst times, and they were absolutely, ridiculously, phenomenally the BEST 4 years of my life.

If you’re about to start college, take my advice: enjoy every. single. moment. of. it. Even if you’re not the party girl/guy, find your niche and do something that makes your college years some of the most memorable times of  your life because after these times, you’ll be like me — just floating in open space and missing it like crazy.

Tell me, do you miss your college years?


14 thoughts on “Growing Up Sucks: 7 Reasons Why I Miss College Like Crazy

  1. I love this! I feel exactly the same way, and my best friend and I have had this discussion far too many times. Everyone is so excited to be growing up, settling down, and playing by others’ rules…and feel nostalgia for learning something new everyday, easily meeting new people and hanging out with them all the time, and being more excited about the future than afraid. I’m not sure whether or not I want to do grad school, but sometimes I think it might be worth it, if simply for the continual learning atmosphere. I really could not have expressed my thoughts better you have. You’ll figure everything out. 🙂

    • I KNOW!! I’m so glad there’s someone else out there who agrees with me! 🙂 I remember chatting with you a while back ago about being jobless and hating being in-between the college and Nowheresville, and trust me — I am SO thankful to be where I am. I am so, so happy to be NY and working.

      I just can’t help but be nostalgic of the things that came with college. I would never want to be back in SCHOOL per se, but I miss those things ^^ up there that came with college. Sometimes I see people who just don’t take advantage of those things, and I want to grab them by the shoulder and tell them, “You’ll never get this opportunity again!!”

    • First of all, thank you! 🙂 And, I feel like no matter what your college years are on fast forward! I worked really hard to keep everything in balance, just like you — grades and friends were high focus — what else is college about? You try to get your life in order, and you make great memories, and then it’s just over before you even know it! No matter how hard you try to really enjoy everything, it just zooms by too fast! 😦

    • Well, I was actually warned a million times by my older siblings and cousins, but I think you just don’t really UNDERSTAND until you’re like “Shit, you were right!!” The problem is the transition between underclassman and upperclassmen and then again between senior and adult. It’s just too fast! =/

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  3. Good list. The number one thing I miss, however, is the childhood-like freedom to live in the moment that you get from freshmen through junior year. Other than classes, and maybe a summer internship, you don’t really have to worry about bills (student loan debt doesn’t start until 6 months after graduating), a career, and so on; you are able to exist free from the weight of the world, in an environment filled with people about the same age as you who are all mostly culturally homogenous.

    Once you leave, you realize that you’re likely done making best friends (and by them, I mean those whom you would refer to as your extended family). You realize that meeting new people other than those in your workplace/office is difficult, let alone making any lasting relationships like you so easily cultivated in high school and college. Like you said, everyone is too busy- long gone are the days where you could arrange a weekend trip with little advance notice. If you don’t plan at least a few weeks ahead, only the die-hards will actually show up. Everyone else already either has work conflicts, or already likely made plans for the next closest weekends because those are the only free days they have anymore.

    It’s depressing. It really seems once people leave college, most of them lose their sense of adventure and spontaneity. I am fortunate to have my innermost circle of college friends living in the same city I do, but I’d be lying if I said that what we have now is anything resembling the past. We hang out together fairly often by post-college standards (once or twice a week), but it’s difficult since we live in different places, have different work schedules, are dating people, etc. I’d also by lying if I said I didn’t miss the rotating cast of secondary friends we had in college- you know, the people that you didn’t hang out with every weekend in college, but those who you hung out a few times a month and always had a good time with.

    The most shocking thing for me is how quickly all but the closest college bonds dissolve once people leave and no longer see each other frequently, if at all. Some people who I would have called among my best friends as little as 2 to 3 years ago, I have rarely spoken to at all since graduation. I miss the simple weekday afternoons and/or nights we would spend doing nothing but hanging out in each other’s apartments or dorm rooms, watching sports or funny TV shows and movies together with some beers. And when I think back to all of the fun parties, weekends, and crazy (likely alcohol fueled) adventures we had together, these memories seem very surreal. It’s like I’m remembering a movie I watched a while ago, instead of things I actually did. We live in the digital age, so a good chunk of these moments are preserved in one way or another in pictures and videos. However, the further away I get from these moments, all the less real they seem…and this fact makes me very sad. I don’t want to relive the reckless drinking and sex, the immaturity…but the single thing I miss most is the great sense of happiness that I felt at the time during all of it. I want to find the next part of my life that makes me feel that alive, that will be that memorable and lasting, something that nothing in my 1.5 years away from college has been able to bring.

    And one final thought: it amazes me how at ages 18-21ish, a year seems like an eternity, but after you’ve been around just a hair longer in your mid-20s, months and years seem to fly by faster and faster. Time waits for no one.

    • I honestly could not agree with you more on every single point — you took the words right out of my mouth! End of college is really a turning point in life, and you just don’t realize it until you’re walking that stage and leaving town. But as with most things in life, hindsight sucks!

  4. So true. College life has been away for almost a year. Though now im still in postgrad it feels different. I wouldn’t trade my college years for the world. To be able to see anyone i want to see and just doing nothing together in friend‘s room. Every little thing is just priceless.

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