College is the time to pretend life is easy without a parent or a maid, but in reality it’s a messy nightmare. Independence is hard when you’re a full-time slave to the educational MAN. Most of the time is taken up by work, and the rest is spent desperately trying to unwind before you have to work again. In the hustle and bustle of daily activities, self control and general hygiene tend to get left behind.
It’s a fast pace world out there, folks. Planning outfits in advance may help with the pile of rushed rejects, but there is no fighting the quick change. Days come and go. I have places to be, people to see, and clothing for every occasion.
Comfy and cute for class, sweatpants in the dorm, and something shnazzy for the cute kid in Art History. But once Thursday rolls around, everything my mother hates gets released from the closet and laid out on my bed. The transition from day to night must be done in a flash in risk of losing precious weekend time; therefore, all the options must be present at once. THERE’S A SYSTEM TO THIS. Once t-shirt time is complete, it’s out the door and into the wide world of someone else’s place, probably.
This process repeats every night until Monday, where the remaining articles of clothing join the horde of previously rejected outfits. (Until they fail the ever-reliable “smell test” are doomed to lay hidden in my hamper for another two weeks.) If I actually cared, I would take the time to fold the clean clothes and organize everything, but that’s not how momma works. The pile of clothes mark my territory, giving off my natural musk.
These clothes prove that I’m a man.
Living in a dorm is like joining a community of strangers in a shoebox with textbooks and anxiety. Problems get solved with post-it notes, a text or they don’t get solved at all. A year into living with the same person, and my roommate and I are still furiously, but silently, battling through the air conditioner. Turn it up all you want because I’m just going to turn it back down. Nothing says I hate you like constant temperature fluctuation.
What many people tend to forget is that you don’t have to be friends with your roommates. When friendship is forced into the situation it becomes a lot more difficult to address issues without starting a week long cat fight. New friends are fun, but when you get to know someone as a friend and a roommate simultaneously, there’s a risk of their living habits overshadowing the redeeming qualities they have outside of the room.
The best kind of roommates are the ones that gather all of their belongings in piles on top of piles. Their mess is contained, and in a twisted way, more organized than other people’s areas. Sometimes you can’t tell if they’re sleeping in bed or if you’ve been whispering to a log of cotton and denim for five minutes. It becomes a fun game when you need to let all your anger out, just hope they’re not hiding underneath. Watch for breathing and unleash the power that is ten weeks of pent up aggression.
Don’t ever leave food unattended in a dorm room, trust me. To the army of ants that took my desk under siege last night: I can tell you I don’t have the cleanest desk, but what I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for ants like you. If you let my strawberry jelly go now, that will be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you and I will kill you (with tissues, rage, and a very cheap vacuum).
When you live in a dorm, the dishes are limited, but so is your counter space. Two bowls and a few cups take the sink area hostage and terror ensues among the public. Apartments are no better, as the extra space just gets taken up with even more dishes. There’s no better way to start the day than to stare down a plate of gelatinous leftovers from god knows when. They’re on your plate, but you don’t even eat Chef Boyardee. Curse you, roommates.
[NOTE: While we could address the most revolting issues any room will face, we decided it was too traumatizing to relive. Dorm bathrooms are the reason I cry at night.]
People who say they’re clean are either psychopaths, liars, or both. College is the time to take care of yourself, sure, but taking care of yourself, your classes, your sanity AND your room is just too much. Some things are bound to fall through the cracks! Accept that you’re human, and take absolutely no responsibility for your actions. That’s for after graduation.