Revisiting the Good Ole Days

There are two phases in my life I consider to be the “glory days.”

1. College
2. Living in London with Darcy and a group of friends straight out of How I Met Your Mother.

But, I think I have been burnishing those memories too heavily.

I’m watching Undeclared on NetFlix for the first time (it is rad and you should start binge-watching it immediately if you’ve never seen it) and it has reminded me of the bad times as well as the good. There was some stuff that was terrible for me about college. I’ll be using too many bullets, just like I did in my terrible term papers. (Which I used to stay up all night writing the night before they were due. Of course.)

THINGS THAT SUCKED ABOUT COLLEGE

– Lack of Funds. Remember running out of money three weeks before the end of semester and desperately going to the student center for a job, any job? And then taking the only position available: selling roses to people at restaurants like some very tragic character out of Les Mis? “Would you like a rose, miss?” Remember eating a can of beans for dinner? Remember driving all your friends downtown to bars and drinking water so they could pay you gas money and you could eat on weekends? Remember begging people to go to the $1 Happy Hour where you could buy a coke and eat all the free tacos and chips and salsa you could before 4:30 so you didn’t have to be there by yourself?*

I forgot. I don’t miss those times at all.

*ALLEGEDLY.

– How disgusting the dorms were. I remember gearing up to use the community showers. I wore my pretty pink robe my grandmother thoughtfully sent me. I had a pretty pink plastic basket with my shampoo and conditioner from Costco, and my pink razor and soap. I wore pink flip flops. None of these trappings of civilization mattered when I entered the shower area, only to view with horror that someone had puked all over the floor. I hope that whomever the university employed to clean our dorm was very, very well paid indeed. Like, waste management salary. College kids were pigs.

– Roommates, college boyfriends and draaaammmmmaaaaa. One of my roommates was always on the phone with her boyfriend, talking in a baby voice. (Which, no judging, except I was in the room studying and had to listen to her say “But I WUV YOU more!” A lot.) She dumped him (yay!) and immediately found a new boyfriend to use her baby voice with (boo!). Then there was the agonizing time I found out a friend’s boyfriend was cheating on her. Should I not tell her and not ruin her happiness or should I tell her so she didn’t have to live a lie? Oh, the agony of that decision. (I told her. It was awful.) Then the shoe being on the other foot and a friend having to tell ME that she knew my boyfriend had cheated on me. Oh, LORDY. THE DRAMA of college guys. College guys mostly were awful, by the way, at our fine university. Don’t go to the #2 party school in the nation if you are looking for a nice young man. Duh, younger me. DUH.

– Dorm Food. It was nasty. No question. I survived mostly on the bread, which rumor had it was bulked up with extra starch so students wouldn’t eat too much of it and this would keep costs down. This tale, oft told, was probably an urban legend, but the sourdough slices did feel like lead in my stomach.

There was a lot to love, like studying at the beach, my old metabolism, my amazing friends, the beautiful campus, the good times. My old metabolism. But it’s silly for me only to remember that stuff, which is what I tend to do.

Do you tend to romanticize peroids of your life that were great? Did you love college?

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10 Comments

Filed under What Say You?

10 responses to “Revisiting the Good Ole Days

  1. Oh yes. Huge romanticizer here. But not college; I actually attended more college in high school than in college. I spent most of the half semester I was enrolled at the Audubon Zoo sketching animals.

    It’s my road tripping days I romanticize. Ah, the freedom of the open road! Meeting new people! Seeing new places! Let’s forget almost freezing to death in North Dakota, running out of money in Wisconsin, and walking six miles down the interstate outside of El Paso in the middle of the night with a machete hidden in my pants after a car breakdown. 🙂 And above all, let my mother never read this comment!!

  2. theyellowblanket

    Definitely college! And my pre-college years in the redwoods with lots of friends and too much freedom.

  3. Gail K

    Yes, I definitely think back to college and grad school with a much more rosy view that what I actually experienced. College was great, except for trying to balance a number of part-time jobs with school work. And, although I had great friends in college, it was tough to be alone. I used to wait hours with a rumbling, starving stomach just so that I wasn’t alone in the cafeteria. But, our cafeteria did have good food, especially on the weekends. And, it was awesome hanging out with friends in our pajamas watching movies until 3 am and knowing that our own bed was only a floor away instead of across town.

    In grad school, we were newly married and we enjoyed spending time with friends, hanging out and drinking. We tend to forget that we were poor and I had not learned how to cook yet so we subsisted on the same 4 or 5 meals which became known as “Standard Dinner #1 through 5”. Plus, we went into massive credit card debt because we only had enough money for the basics and, when an emergency happened, the funds were charged with hopes of paying it off, but then something else would happen the next month. But, we still think back on those days as really good ones.

  4. I attended university for 2 years before I got cut from the drama program. I had no interested in getting a BA in Arts without the acting part. Then I was accepted into an acting school in New York. That was one of the best 9 months of my life. First time away from home, living in a distant relative’s basement. Going to those said happy hours (we didn’t have happy hour in Canada), drinking $5 pitchers of beer (I had also never drank so much beer before), doing drugs with our voice teacher and seeing off off Broadway shows for free. Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, getting to know the subways, meeting people from all over. It was one of the first times I had ever felt so free and independent. I fell in love with NYC. Then I didn’t get accepted into the 2nd year. Dream over. Years later, I became a professional actress with credits that I had to edit and use smaller font to get on one page. And I still love NYC.

  5. Funny you should mention this, because I’ve been thinking the same thing lately. I tend to really romanticize my Peace Corps days, and when I get stressed I want to go right back to Togo. But I realized recently that when I was there, my relationship with K was new & exciting, plus I was single and had a lot of freedom (and $) to go out a lot. If we went back there now, it would be totally different.

  6. I love, love, LOVED college – 100%. I went to a small, private Lutheran college, and I had SUCH an awesome experience there (down to studying abroad in France 3x in the 4 years I was there – also the best experiences of my life). Thankfully though, we had AWESOME food, and the showers were set up so there were about 10 girls per bathroom, and they were never puked in. *shivers* I don’t miss being broke, but I miss being able to go to the bar with $5 in my pocket and drink all night thanks to drunk college guys buying my drinks. ;-))

  7. Love this concept! I def. tend to romanticize the past. I think of college as the best day s of my life and the worst! I remember hating having to be in school and work. I couldn’t wait until I could just focus on one thing! And the male drama….oy vey. The worst part EVER of college! Glad that is over. But living with your friends, day in and day out…when anything could happen at any time, anywhere… the spontainaiety of it all. Miss that.

  8. It’s funny. I have two distinct memories of college. There is the time I can look back on with my friends–and I have thousands of pictures to corroborate this chain of events–that was super awesome (although yes, filled with a significant amount of drama) and then there was the part where I was terrible depressed and going from therapist to therapist every year and trying to find the right meds and becoming anorexic/bulimic in Spain and dropping 30lbs and getting into massive fights with my friends about it and letting drinking become an issue (because I was so much smaller but still drinking like I used to). So yeah, it’s easy to look back on that time like it was so amazing, or I can look back on it like it was awful. I do both. A lot. But mostly I realize it was like any other time, it had its ups and its downs and I don’t think I’d like to go back and live it again, if given the choice.

  9. I don’t think I romanticize college, but I really enjoyed my college experience. I attended a small women’s college, and bathrooms were shared by only 4 women in a suite. I actually lucked out and didn’t have suite mates, so only my roommate and I shared a bathroom. Then she decided she couldn’t live with me (never did understand my supposed evils) and moved out, leaving me the sole resident in a huge room w/ my own bathroom. Bliss. The food was great too, and I loved my classes and experiences. However, I also felt really lonely and like an outsider freshman year.

  10. LOVED my student days. Best time of my life. I could have done without some of the male-related drama, pre-dh. I was in residence for all four years & watched with bemusement as the guy who had picked me up. toyed with me for awhile until I started pressing for a more conventional relationship & then unceremoniously dumped me — and then proceded to do exactly the same thing with a new unsuspecting frosh girl every fall for the next three years. I Googled him awhile back & get this — he is now married to a woman who runs a Christian women’s ministry (!) & and has FOUR teenaged daughters (!!!). Karma must be a bitch. 😉

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