Old Dogs, New Tricks

A blog for non-traditional students

Living Vicariously

It looks like I may have finally overcome my technical difficulties – we’ll see how it goes the next couple entries.

Ah, college life – images of frat parties and crowded football games still float through my head at the words – and that’s after over two years back on campus.  Maybe it’s just rose-colored glasses, but I still have fond memories of what my first college experience was like.  Sometimes I long for my carefree days of wild parties and big plastic containers full of the mystical “jungle juice” that smoothed out the edges of those crazy days.  Listening to my younger classmates talk about their exciting evenings, and even bemoaning the hangovers that follow them to class the next day, I feel like I’m not that far removed from the fun of my youth.

However, at the same time, I find myself – inwardly at least – shaking my head in disbelief at the antics that my classmates get up to.  I’ve discovered I’m turning into my own mother – the horror! – and have to restrain myself from reprimanding the wayward youth that sometimes show up to classes more than hungover – still buzzed from the night before.  But my motherly instincts still can’t smother my enjoyment of their wild stories and wish for the freedom to be able to stay out all night, drinking and dancing with my friends.

I often wonder what those very same classmates think about me when I make a passing comment about being in bed by midnight every night.  I try to ignore that sneaking suspicion that they think, “Man, I’d hate to be that old!”  Instead, I share some of my own youthful indiscretions, in some strange need to compare myself to them – make it seem like I wasn’t always such a stick-in-the-mud.

Ultimately, while I sometimes miss the days when I had no responsibilities beyond homework and returning my best friend’s emails, I’m glad that I’ve learned the lessons that I have.  Although, I wish I had been able to figure out that all-night partying isn’t the best way to get ahead without spending so many years in debt up to my eyeballs and no job to speak of.

Maybe that’s what I secretly long to share with my more traditional counterparts – that having a good time is great but it should never be more important than taking care of your responsibilities.  That could just be the mom in me but I really wish there was a way to impart that wisdom without sounding like such an old fart.  I’d love to be able to save someone the aggravation and heartache of learning all that stuff the hard way.  And that’s the worst part of being the “grownup” – I finally realize that there is no way to teach those kind of lessons – some things people just have to experience for themselves.

*** Danielle

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January 10, 2009 - Posted by | Generation Gap, Student Life

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