Late Sunday afternoon I got it in my head to get duck. Not just any duck, mind you. The best Peking Duck in the world. Hapa Papa said I could go after Glow Worm went down for the night so I tried valiantly to get together a small group of people for last minute duck. As you would expect, no one could make it.
Of course I am not surprised. I am friends with people who have children and spouses and actual lives. But I couldn’t help but think that I needed some more friends with zero obligations. (Not that they would be hanging around waiting for me to call randomly on a Sunday night…)
Anyhow, I decided to go by myself anyway. But while I was driving the 45 minutes to get to the duck place (Great China in Berkeley), I was thinking of all the things I missed about being young and carefree. Free to leave at the drop of a hat to go get duck.
So here, in no particular order, are things I miss about college.
1) Living in community
I miss having my friends live down the hall or around the block or like one year, all in the same apartment building. Lonely? Want to go do something? Catch a late night movie? Grab shaved ice at 1am? Drive to Vegas for a breakfast buffet? There is bound to be someone who is up for it.
On top of the silly stuff, I was lucky enough to be friends with folks in the same Christian fellowship and the people were super awesome and supportive for all the drama I entangled myself in. I miss these people.
2) Gads of free time
Sure, if you actually went to class or had a job or studied, you were a bit busier than most, but even with those things, there was a lot of free time. Time to sleep, eat, hang out, read, watch TV, whatever. It was beautiful.
3) Deep conversations
Just by virtue of being in a Christian fellowship as well as being around college people, there were bound to be conversations that delved deep into our lives. Instead of the mundane, we had time and opportunity and desire to discuss God, poverty, money, race, sex, love, whatever. Of course I could still have these conversations now, but it is far fewer and far between. In fact, my brain is usually too tired to talk about more than my children or my husband. Mostly, I talk about the food I want to eat.
4) The sense of possibility
Yes, yes. I know I am not dead yet so clearly, there are lots of possibilities out there. But I am married. That automatically shuts out possibilities (in a good way, I might add). I have children (THREE), so there go a few more. I want to live a certain lifestyle and POOF! There go the rest!
I am okay with this as I tend to be the type of person whose future is set and pretty much planned out. But still, every now and then, I miss the exciting sense of “anything could happen!”
5) The ability to eat ANYTHING and have very little consequence
Now, YMMV on this one. But my metabolism was AWESOME until I hit about twenty-five. After that, my cholesterol went up, my waistline let out a bit, and my body broke down. So of course, I took a bit better of myself. But man, I truly miss heading out to Norm’s (a 24-hour diner) for steak and eggs at 1am to “study.” Those were the times!
Ok. Your turn. What do you miss about college?
Unfortunately, My route to college was unlike yours and many others. By the time that I was 21, I had 3 children, 3 years of age, 18 months and a newborn. I worked full-time during the day and attended school full-time at night. I didn’t have time for the normal college-@@related activities because when I wasn’t at work or school, I was doing ‘kid’ stuff. Afterward, I went to law school and the same deal, only I moved 2 ½ hours away and commuted home when I could. I can say that I miss three things about that time, my tireless energy borne by determination, good health and a a metabolism that allowed me to never think about my weight.
When I think back, I miss that I didn’t have the things that you had, especially time and the ability to participate in extracurricular activities that broaden my school experience. Yet, I believe that things happen for a reason and that there were lessons to be learned in the challenges that I faced to get an education and to avoid being one of those teen mothers whose life is over when their unfortunate choices lead to children at such a young age. Blessings, Lydia
You are amazing!! I can barely get my children dressed and out the door by 9am for Cookie Monster’s school and you went to college and then law school!
I hope your kids are as proud of you as I am. (Not that you need my affirmation or anything.) That must have been bone-tiring!