There are no sweeter word for a college student than “break”, whether that means sleeping off one too many hangovers, binging on youtube (gotta catch up on your shows) or heading home (to do that load of overdue laundry). I like Christmas break, because it is mostly the first time I’ve seen family and friends in months and also a time to recover from the stop-go-stop college life. Though I’m glad to see my parents, I know it’s only a matter of days till we start getting on each other’s nerves. Almost, makes me want to say the cliche “Wizard of Oz” modified line, “Toto, we’re not at school anymore”.
So, in light of the holiday break, I came up with my top 10 list: things that make me realize I’m no longer on campus:
1. No more shower shoes (always a good thing)
2. My e-mail inbox gets crowded at a very slow pace (during the school year, it’s easy to miss things if you don’t check your e-mail at least 3 times a day, which translates into frantic e-mail checking during the holidays…making your parents think that you’re weird)
3. Dramatically less English usage (it’s really funny what sentences you can make when you jumble several languages together. Yet, somehow, I still manage to converse with my parents)
4. Diet switch from pasta, pizza and the occasional salad to jollof rice, fried fish, plantains and fufu.
5. Chores (yes, we don’t care how old you are. you still gotta take out the trash and do grocery runs)
6. Sermon topics (the ones on campus tend to be very young-adult-centric; the ones at home speak to the middle-age woman (or is it man?) in all of us)
7. Call vs. Text (at school, it’s not abnormal to carry various text-ing conversations throughout the day; at home, the phone actually rings. gah, culture shock!)
8. TV vs. Youtube/Hulu (it’s amazing how versatile laptops become on a college campus, but when you get home…wow, the TV works. It comes in handy for all the family bonding over reruns of Fresh Prince)
9. The obligatory family visits (at school, you can get away with the sparse phone conversations on birthdays, and random holidays. At home, visits to extended family consists of lots of hugging and smiling and answering for the umpteenth time, “Senior…already? Time flies by…So, what do you plan on doing after graduation?”)
10. Sleep (self-explanatory)
So, what makes YOU realize you’re not at school anymore?