College vs. Home

I came back home to St. Louis about a week ago and I leave tomorrow. This is the longest I’ve been home since I started college back in August. Honestly, it’s weird being back. I’ve had a set schedule these last three months that I’ve been thrown off of since getting here. So after much deliberation (sort of…), here are the biggest differences between college and home.

1. Naps. I have set times when I take my power naps that I haven’t been able to take since I got home. For example, every Wednesday I have a psychology quiz at 8:30am. That means that in order to get ready, grab breakfast with some friends at 7:45, and study a little beforehand, I need to be awake at 6:30. After psychology I have a chemistry lab at 11:30. Since I was probably up late studying for the quiz, I need my nap from 9:30-10. That’s all I let myself sleep since I’ve got places to go and people to see. Sorta. Since coming home, though, I don’t have a psychology quiz at 8:30. That means… I can sleep as much as I want. Long story short is I’m completely caught up on sleep and I’m pretty sure my mom thinks I have narcolepsy or something.

2. Food.  I absolutely love where I go to school and I’m really, really happy there. The only thing I truly hate dislike about it is the food. Some days it’s so bad that I actually want to start a hunger strike or something. Fortunately on the days that it’s unpalatable they manage to offer nachos or chicken nuggets, which is almost redeeming. And then there are days when half the dining hall is eating cereal for dinner and looking depressed. Some of the awards that the company that caters to my school has won include “Best Companies for Hourly Workers,” “Diversified Outsourcing Services,” “Caterer to an Environmentally Responsible College,” and “#1 on the Top Companies for Diversity List.” Hey, spoiler alert. None of those awards actually have anything to do with the quality of the food I’m paying thousands for each year. Diversity doesn’t prevent me from getting scurvy, which I’m pretty sure I have since I’ve hardly seen fruit since the last time I was home. The company also serves food at prisons and offers a program that brings together inmates in discussion groups to make them realize the consequences of their crimes. THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE MY FOOD MOONLIGHT AS THERAPISTS. Please focus on either making decent food or running group therapy sessions, because I don’t think you can do both well simultaneously. If you were wondering, I’d love Walmart or Amazon gift cards for Christmas. Walmart because I can get nourishment there and Amazon for everything else. But I’ve been eating non-stop since getting home. My mom’s and grandma’s cooking makes me happy and not contract food poisoning.

3. Friends. When I’m sick of studying or just plain bored, I basically only need to open my door to find someone to talk to. I’ve become really good friends with everyone on my floor and in my class in the nursing school. I spend a lot of time with my friend Ashley who lives right across the hall. In return for making me laugh and letting me take naps on her floor, I make her a hot pocket and watch movies with her until she falls asleep after she comes back a little tipsy after parties. If that isn’t true friendship then I don’t know what is. For the record, ukuleles make people want to be your friend. I bought one a few weeks ago and spent the weekend learning how to play it. I jammed for a good two or three hours with one guy on an acoustic guitar and one guy on an electric guitar, and sometimes I’ll sit out in the hallway playing it with basically the entire hall. Also, on Halloween I made the eyeball cakeballs I usually make for my Halloween party and I made rolls with marshmallows when my floor had a Thanksgiving dinner last two Sundays ago. Both times I got compliments by everyone who had one, and my friend’s boyfriend went out into our lounge and yelled at all the guys that I would make great wife material. Moral of the story is that food and ukulele bring people together. Now that I’ve come back home I don’t have friends I can just walk across the hall to hang out with. Luckily my siblings are my bestest friends and they are all I need. But really, all of my friends in St. Louis live far away so I hardly got to see any this week. Spider Baby is learning how to walk so his drunken stumble makes me think of Ashley. Close enough.

4. Noise. Ten or fifteen people on my floor all went to high school together, and somehow they ended up living next door to each other. Saying they’re all best friends is an understatement. I love that they’re all super close, but my word they can be loud sometimes. When they’re not all in the lounge down the hall, they’re in the guy’s room next to me. Thankfully they’re all super nice or I probably wouldn’t be able to tolerate what sounds like the recording of a laugh track at 2am. Here at home it’s just as loud, which makes sense since there are seven Italiana kids who all somehow end up being in the same room together. My parents love that. How my mother is able is to homeschool my siblings is beyond me.

5. Family. First off, I come back home and everyone is wearing my clothes. I have yet to see Sister Celiac wear anything that isn’t mine. The other night I was in the living room and I see her walk downstairs wearing a sweater THAT I BROUGHT TO WEAR THIS WEEK. IT WAS IN MY SUITCASE. AND SHE TOOK IT. Luckily since she stopped eating wheat and is finally healthy she’s grown a lot. She’s 14 and already a good two or three inches taller than me. You won’t fit in my clothes for long, sistah… The closest I get to experiencing my family is through FaceTime a few times a week, and that doesn’t allow me to see that my entire family has become obsessed with Duck Dynasty, Pinterest, and Salt & Vinegar chips. Seriously, I leave for three months and the whole house falls apart. We were driving the other day and Sister Celiac and Future Chef were seeing who could stick their head out the window and sing Miley Cyrus songs the longest. Also, apparently there’s a “strike” game. To cut straight to the point, the only rules are you’re not allowed to make any gross bodily noise or else you get a strike. Three strikes and you’re out, except not really because the game keeps going and nothing ever really happens. This isn’t too different from college except the guys there don’t get strikes and they generally don’t laugh after it like my three brothers do (and my sister Brute…).

Also I forgot how annoyed Sister Celiac and I get at each other when we finish every sentence for each other. Hearing her say the same dumb jokes as me at the same time makes me wonder if people actually think I’m funny or if they’re just being polite.

So, I stole the chemistry test answer key. But don’t judge me. Only God can judge me.

I’ve been trying to blog for a while, but, ha, that obviously hasn’t happened. Here are some snippets of posts that I’ve written but haven’t published:

One of the perks of going to a somewhat competitive college is that a majority of the people here are very smart. I definitely have encountered some people who still don’t know the difference between there, their, and they’re, but all of my pre-med friends intimidate me. Because everyone’s relatively educated it’s possible to have deep conversations with most of them. Some of the most profound ones I’ve had have been at midnight or later and all involve drunk people. I don’t drink which makes it that much funnier because I remember the whole thing the next day and they generally don’t. Some topics that have been covered are whether or not euthanasia is ethical, the in-depth rules of chess (and then the drunk guy proceeded to beat the sober guy at chess multiple times) and why Batman is able to save Gotham all by himself.

Since getting to college I’ve become much more laid-back. Not that I was ever high strung before, but now I really don’t get upset easily. Actually it’s gotten so bad (good?) that five people (two yesterday) now have asked me if I wanted to smoke pot with them. I informed them that I don’t do drugs. They all seemed shocked and said that I have the calm, easygoing personality of a stoner and that I’m easy to talk to. Apparently that’s a compliment?

I took a chemistry test a few weeks ago. The professor is probably the most insane man I’ve ever encountered and we watched a baseball game on the projector during one class. He also has a bit of a temper. He went over some people’s test with them in lab and mine was the last he went over before class ended. He handed me my test (or what I thought was my test) and I left. We had a chem lecture later that day and he flipped out at the beginning telling us that someone stole the answer key and they needed to return it right away so he could finish grading the tests. Why someone would want to steal the answer key to a chem 100 class is beyond me, but he was in a bad mood for the rest of lecture. A few days later he sent out a long, threatening email about how whoever stole it needs to give it back immediately. We got the same speech again in the chemistry lab later that week. Halfway through his rant I had this strong inclination to look in my lab folder. Guess who had accidentally taken the answer key instead of their test? Yeah, that would be me. Interrupting his speech and handing over the answer key in front of 30-40 people who all applauded me was probably the most awkward moment I’ve had since getting here.

This week has been pretty stressful, but fun. I had a biology test yesterday and gave a 15 minute presentation in nursing that multiple people said they really enjoyed. And some girl the other day said, “I don’t know how to say this without sounding awkward, but you’re really awesome.” Hey, I’ll take that. In life milestone news, I got in my first real fist fight last night! I was debating with my friend RJ about who knows what and he randomly went “DO YOU WANT TO FIGHT?” I’ve never actually fought with a 19 year old guy who works out multiple times a week and only drinks protein shakes. I don’t know why I thought that I would win… In biology lab today we got to spit into cuvettes to sample our cheek cells and somehow got ten extra credit points for it. So yeah, that’s pretty much what’s been going on. And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m currently lying on my friend’s floor about to watch She’s the Man and possibly fall asleep. I party hard. But for real, the amount of sleep that every gets here is laughable. We have competitions to see who can sleep the most at night and there is definitely a moment of silence in respect for you if you say that you got more than 9 hours.