College is a wonderful time in our lives. When you become a mom, things change drastically. Although the joys of being a mom are greater than anything else I for one have experienced even at it’s most challenging, sometimes it’s good to look back and reminisce.
Here are the top 10 things I miss about college. What do you miss?
1. Making my own schedule
When I was in school, I remember picking my classes around a schedule that would work for me. Sure I had to work 2 jobs, but because one was early in the morning and the other in the evening, I could schedule my classes as I chose between these. I also didn’t have to work both jobs EVERY day, so that helped.
I would make sure that I would leave a gap between classes so that I had my lunch time free. I’ll explain why this was so important on #8. Today, my schedule is my kids’ schedule. I have to make sure that I am available for them whenever they need me. Kids don’t like to wait for you to finish whatever it is that you are doing, especially if it doesn’t involve them in some way. I’m pretty sure it is frowned upon to leave your kid in school or daycare past the specified time because you got too busy shopping or getting your hair done. Call me crazy, but I know I couldn’t do it.
2. Sleeping in
Weekends were just that, the end of the week and time to relax. Oh, and how I loved those 3 and even 4 day weekends for a holiday! I remember days where I didn’t see the sunshine at all. I slept all day and partied all night. It was something I didn’t even think about. On the days you did see the sunrise, it was because the fun had lasted that long. Or, if you did manage to get out and about, it was usually to have more fun. Playing outdoors or just laying out in the sun was a wonderful way to enjoy the day. Mamas don’t have that luxury. We may stay awake all night, but only because we are taking care of our little ones and still have to be awake all day every day. I’m just grateful that my kids like to play outdoors so much. I can still try to soak up some sun. It may not be in a pool for hours without a care in the world, but with the best company a girl can ask for and some silly games to boot.
Don’t feeling like going to class? Don’t. Don’t feel like going to work? Call in sick. One of the jobs I had was working for the university. They pretty much knew how to deal with college kids sudden illnesses on sunny Fridays. It was kind of expected. You’d still get in trouble if you overdid it, so you didn’t do it every week. Every once in a while, though, you just had to take the risk. There was something invigorating about being out and about while others were stuck at work or in class. Sure you felt a little guilt, but the fun you had and the rest you managed to add on made up for it (most of the time).
No such luxuries these days. Mamas have no sick days; you can’t decide not to be there. And you most definitely can’t be a no-show. That goes back to the scheduling thing and how it is all frowned upon. Mainly the people you hurt the most are the ones that miss you terribly because they rely on you so much. I couldn’t even imagine just skipping out on them. Their sad little faces break my heart enough as it is when they get a bump and need mama kisses or just want a big mama hug.
4. No hangover
What is it about college that gives us the magical super power of alcohol absorption? I mean I could drink all night and wake up at 6 to catch the bus at 6:30 and be to my first job at 7 bright and bushy tailed. Now, I drink too much and feel like I got hit by a truck for days. Maybe it’s not college, maybe it is youth. Ah, youth….why have you abandoned me?
I know it is probably for the best that I don’t go out and party as I use to. I know that my kids probably appreciate that, too. But do you ever wonder when shots stopped being just a taste of pure yumminess and turned into blackout juice? All I can picture is the skull and crossbones on the label. Must…stay…away…
5. People watching
Back in school, I would go to a coffee shop or sit outside on a patio with my books. I would listen to my music while I casually looked around from time to time to watch the world in motion. I would watch while people from all walks of life came and went, hurried across the university or met with others to talk about big important things only college kids talk about. Life seemed much slower then. Sure, I couldn’t sit there forever, but just taking the time to myself and enjoying the view was refreshing. Those were definitely some of the best times. Even though as a mom I can’t really just go and watch the world go by me regularly, it still feels good to sit outside on the deck with a book and a cup of tea every once in a while and take a breath (while the kids are sleeping, of course).
6. Multicultural friends
I loved being able to meet people from all over the world and all walks of life at school. I found their stories and lives so fascinating. I loved learning about cultures and traditions as well as just being able to talk to someone I would never had been able to meet outside of the university experience. Their stories and friendships changed my view on the world. It is because of them and because of all I learned about cultures in school, I want my kids to be open to everything. There is one blogger that I read that has the perfect name for this, “Raising World Citizens”. My husband and I both love that. We should all strive to raise world citizens.
7. Friends everywhere
This one goes hand in hand with #6. I don’t know what it was, but it was so easy to make friends back then: in class, at work, sitting by the Littlefield Fountain on campus, at the student union, at parties (which were everywhere) at concerts (my favorite pass time. Bonus: you knew they had good taste in music if they were watching the bands you liked, too) even on the bus. I remember having different groups of friends that enjoyed doing different things. Suppose I wanted to go downtown, I knew who to call. Go watch live music, done. Hang out at a house party, no problem. Be active during the day, ready. The possibilities were endless and time was just fun.
Now it’s nearly impossible to make friends. It might have something to do with the fact that I don’t put myself out there as much. I don’t go out often, I don’t join many groups, and I don’t even know where parents go to make friends. I am pretty much just trying to meet nice moms with nice kids for our kids to play with. I think I would rather have them make friends for the future than myself. They have a long way to go and friends help you get there with a smile on your face. Hugs to all my friends that have stuck by me!
I may have mentioned this before (previous post) but being able to nap in the afternoon is by far the best thing ever. Back then, I scheduled my classes around lunch time so I could go to the student union, sit in a comfy chair while I ate my lunch and watched Days of Our Lives and Another World (by far the best soap opera ever. I think I may have cried a little when it ended) and then took a little catnap. I’d wake up refreshed and ready for the rest of the day.
I still need my naps, I think my body is just used to them, but there was just something about being able to sit and stare at a TV or the inside of my eyelids for a little while with no judgment that made it that much better. You know I wasn’t the only one that took that break. The TV rooms in the union were always packed. If you didn’t get there early enough, you ate your lunch on the floor until a seat opened up. I didn’t mind, though, I knew I’d get my catnap soon enough. That is why keeping my kids naps as long as possible is essential to my survival. So dramatic, I know.
9. No “real” responsibility
No other person’s life completely depended on you. If you were bad to your body or your mind, you only had yourself to blame. If you went a whole day without eating, it was no problem. If you went days without sleeping, it was a big oops. All these things you could beat yourself up about later and on your own. As a mama, that is no longer an option. You can’t forget to feed your kid, and you have to make sure you give him healthy food. You can’t drag him around taking away his sleep, you will ALL suffer the consequences of a cranky child and that is no fun for anyone. You can’t just let your kid sit there with no stimulation for a day and expect things to be ok. In college, you could slack off every once in a while. In real life, there is no way you can and be able to feel good about yourself… in my opinion.
10. A Day Away
This last one might make me seem a little odd to some. I loved being able to sit in a library and just research my time away. I remember having to do research papers on topics I liked, going into the library, finding a ton of books on the subject, spreading them out all over a large table in the back and just read a little, write a little, read a little more and write a little more until the lights flickered because it was almost time to go. What was not much fun was realizing you probably missed or were about to miss the last bus home. Just sitting there consumed with all that knowledge around you was fabulous.
Sure I can still read and research today, especially now that my kids have school two days a week, but there is no way I can just spend a day like that. I don’t even know if I could without falling asleep on the table of books. Also, that may be considered child neglect as well. I don’t know if you have noticed, but I really like my job and would love to keep it. I didn’t study how to be a mama in school, but I am still a student in this new world of motherhood. This is the learning I want to focus on.
:: What things do you miss about college? Where is your alma mater? ::