Fall semester is practically here, and I know in just a few short weeks I’ll be wearing stress like an oversized sweater.
On top of moving into my first apartment, I’ll be buying my books, writing research papers and drinking coffee like water—my body depends on it to be honest. I spent my summer relaxing between work shifts, but I’m ready to be in class again every day. School gives me good vibes, and naturally I like being involved.
The summer excitement wore off quickly, and I crave being back at school now more than ever. Throughout the summer, of course I missed my out-of-state friends, professors and studying at the Cathedral of Learning with my roommate. But, oddly enough, I found myself missing things about school I didn’t expect to miss: here are some of those things.
1. Giving Speeches
You’re probably thinking, “What the hell?” I know, actually wanting to write and give a speech is weird to say the least. I have a Communication minor, and I’m very familiar with performance anxiety, but I like the rush and thinking, “I could potentially crash and burn in front of the whole class right now.”
When I read articles about current events, whether they focus on the election or police brutality, I sound off on social media. I like to write about my feelings—to create an outline, and organize my emotions and ideas in a way that makes sense to a group of people is powerful.
I’m a relationship-driven person, and I think writing and giving speeches is an effective way of influencing and motivating others. I miss having structured time to focus on speech writing, and working on how to eloquently present ideas to a classroom full of my peers. And of course I love my professor who calls me out on “um,” and “like.” I need that.
2. Basketball Games
I’m not the type of student who attends sporting events regularly, but I do miss Carlow basketball, especially the men’s team. The Carlow men’s basketball team was formed in 2014—the year I started school, and they’ve been making history ever since.
I like being a part of something big, and nothing feels better than watching a new team win game after game, especially when the team is representing your university. I miss doing the wave wearing my Carlow gear, and I even miss working the concession stand. Nobody grills hot dogs better than I do (not true at all, but still).
The energy at every game is wild, as are the parties after each hard-earned win. Regardless of where you go, college will encourage you to live outside of your comfort zone, and remind you that you can do anything you want with your life. Carlow’s men’s basketball team was once an idea before students themselves made it a reality, and now the entire campus gets to celebrate when the boys bring home a win.
3. Fire Alarms
No, I don’t like fire alarms, but for some reason they’re a Carlow staple. They happen so often, it’s almost funny—note I said “almost.” The dorm room smoke detectors are incredibly sensitive, so RAs advise students not to straighten their hair in their rooms unless windows are open, and absolutely no lighting candles.
What I miss about Carlow fire alarms is bonding with my classmates over hating them. My school is small, with only one residence hall. During a fire alarm, every resident student rushes the stairwells at the same time, only then to collect outside Frances Warde Hall, impatiently waiting to get the “okay” from university police to reenter the building.
There are always students wearing bath towels, or robes and flip flops—you know they were showering when the alarm sounded (unfortunate for them). Then you see the students who, based on their faces of utter disgust alone, were dead asleep when the fire alarm rang.
One night, the alarm rang around 4:00 am, and the police had trouble turning it off. The sound was deafening, and students had no choice but to wait outside for almost 2 hours. Needless to say, an angry mob was formed right in front of Frances Warde Hall, minus the pitchforks and actual fire, considering the fire alarms usually go off because of hair products or cigarette/weed smoke.
I miss the fire alarms in a strange kind of way, because they always make for hilarious stories. I love moments where you look around and think, “This is fucking ridiculous,” and your friends agree—annoying as fuck fire alarms bring moments like that to life.
4. University Bingo Nights
My university has made bingo great again (sorry I had to). “Bingo” and “lit” aren’t two words you usually see grouped together, but bingo nights at my school are famous for getting loud and crazy. The prizes are quite literally the best—one student walked away with a Keurig and K Cups, while another won an iPad, all in the same night. In addition to candy and tapestries, other prizes include rugs, baskets full of toiletry items like shampoo and conditioner, as well as $100 Visa gift cards.
Popcorn is free during bingo, and sometimes students serve chocolate chip pancakes, or pizza as an obvious go-to food most people love. One student planned “Drag Bingo,” and 2 drag queens hosted the popular monthly event. They brought the sass, the beauty as well as the positive energy. Students are always open to new and exciting ideas, especially because “Drag Bingo” was a huge success.
I miss bingo because my friends and I get rowdy, and I yell when a winner takes the prize I wanted. Bingo at my school is competitive, and I’m looking forward to winning more shit this semester.
“Full-time student” is a wonderful title, and I wear it proudly. School has changed me for the better—I feel more alive going to class and learning every day. I miss school when I’m away, even the unexpected parts of my college experience. Whether it be a bingo night on a Wednesday, or an inconvenient fire alarm, I love college and all of its weirdness.