Ah, graduation. A time to celebrate an important entry into adulthood. With this momentous time in mind, I’d like to reflect on red plastic cups in the bushes, and other realities of living in a student neighborhood.
Admittedly, I knew a lot in college. Possibly everything. Certainly much more than I know now. That’s because I had shit figured out. Where the man went wrong, where the government went wrong, where the world went wrong. I was also pretty sure I could live on $7 an hour forever.
Now the only things I know for sure are that 1) I will continue to eat dairy no matter how lactose intolerant I may become and 2) we’re all going to die.
Students, though, especially when encountered in large, roving groups, do not yet have a handle on the limitations of their knowledge. They are feeling good, hormonally and otherwise, and want to be free. Wherever, whenever. And when you live in a college town that freedom is theirs to celebrate, loudly, any night of the week.
Ten reasons living in a college town can get you down:
1. It will interfere with your sleep. Maybe it’s the best song ever. Maybe it’s the urge to WOO! Maybe it’s a conversation about how cool salt crystals look on tortilla chips when you’re stoned.
2. You will be dismissed. Do I know you? Oh, no, sorry. You’re old.
3. Lack of owner occupied homes. Who needs lawns when you can have weeds?
4. Cheap food is better than good food. And good luck if you want to grab a drink after work with some colleagues. WOO!
5. Insanely distracted driving. Emoji is hilarious and perilous.
6. You are there to serve students. Accommodate them or be met with scorn and disbelief.
7. Your friends who live in cities think you’ve landed in paradise and don’t want to hear about it. Do you want to know how long they were in traffic?
8. The baloney hierarchy. What do you teach? Oh… *wanders off to talk with someone who has a terminal degree.
9. Crowds. It’s weird to swim laps at a pool where it’s spring break every week.
10. Existential crisis. What is the role of public education in today’s society? What are we teaching our youth? Why won’t you stop honking?
Of course, the thing is, individually, students are usually pretty great.
What about you?
Do you work at a school? Live in a college town? What would you add to the list? How do you cope?