College years are, or so I’ve heard, the most memorable years of a person’s life. Endless late-night bashes, drunken hazes, detrimental hangovers and fuck-where-am-I mornings, all thanks to the freedom you are duly granted on registration day.
To get to this student sanctuary, though, an implausible amount of stress and strain must first be endured. They call it the Leaving Cert, but it’s widely known to us young’uns as devil spawn smeared on a page or something like that.
I can only imagine the infinite joy felt when your place in the student sanctuary of your choice is confirmed by means of The Brown Envelope. But after the champagne (or Bulmer’s) is poured and the cake is sliced, how many people are truly ready to take that step into the unknown abyss that is college? If it had been me going into the school a few weeks ago after a sleepless night full of tossing and turning, I would’ve handed that no-good, dirty-rotten, pig-stealing great great envelope back and said “We’ll try again next year, perhaps”. No way in hell could I imagine myself floating off to college now. Na-ah. No thanks. There are some things in life I’m simply not ready to part with just yet.
My bedroom would be a prime example. I would, and soon will be, lost without my Sliderobe mirrors and my king-size bed. Knowing that four years of my life are to be spent in a single bed was a hard enough pill to swallow, and then I heard the other college room rumours. Horrible, eye watering rumours. Can it possibly be true that some rooms have… no mirrors? U.L’s Student Union better watch out for me on the prowl next year if my room does not reflect myself from some angle. And I’m just assuming it would be “bad manners” to have my iPod speakers blaring at my chosen volume level while others sleep opposite and adjacent. Boo, you whores.
It gets worse than simply losing your personal space. What in the name of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John am I supposed to have for dinner every evening?! Four years on pasta and noodles will not suffice. Thus suggesting the skill of cooking must be acquired pre-leaving-home. See? These are the hidden requirements you failed to make note of in those university brochures. Probably because they were written in there’s-no-such-fucking-thing, font size 1.9.
So while you’re starving and short a few mirrors, you decide to venture over to the on campus shop (which supplies all you need for your college life – vodka and Panadol) in order to re-fill your stomach and ego. All’s well and good until you realise something: you’re shit broke. Borrowing money from the ‘rents is no longer an option unless you own shares in FedEx or something (in which case money shortages would never be a concern anyway). And for those of you with no weekend wages coming through, I bid you farewell. For we will most likely find your body tangled up in a ball beside your single bed, teeth gnawing into the leg of your dresser, eyes squeezed shut to protect from the splinters firing at you with every mouth-watering munch.
If I am yet to terrify you, think of all the dark, unfamiliar faces that undoubtedly will. I know people frequently speak of how they can’t wait to leave the town they grew up in, but think about that a second longer. In your new place of residence the days of “Y’know yur wan down the road” are long gone. You will NEVER know who your one down the road really is and if you do, you haven’t moved far enough away from home yet. What I’m trying to say is, wasn’t it sort of nice back home knowing everyone and everyone knowing you? Feeling a part of something. In college, the most you’ll ever be is a face in a club that would “get it”, or if you’re lucky, a name on a list of people in a club that already “got it”.
I guess you could label me a cynic or just someone in denial that they are not attending college this Fall. In essence, however, I’m very much a realist. I may have slightly exaggerated the points above that I have made but nonetheless they are factual and accurate. You will miss your own bedroom whilst in college – fact. You will be in a permanent state of hunger – fact. And you will need a larger mirror regardless of the depth of your vanity – double fact.
Nevertheless, I will be prepared for 3rd level education. I will bring with me, alongside my kitchen sink, my Sliderobe mirrors and have them built in to my spacious college room. I will then proceed to hire the services of Gordon Ramsay who will reside on campus and be the cook for my house for the duration of the year (I can afford him as I own shares in FedEx, btw). Then, finally, I will remove the single bed of my blissfully plastered housemate and attach it onto my also single bed, hence creating a double bed. I think that plan suitably fits the ideology and fantasy surrounding college life, don’t you?