Dear Concerned Parental Units,
I’ve been away at college for about four months now and can’t wait to come home for winter break to see how many inches my little bro grew and how much things changed around the house. However, I must warn you, I’m not the same person that left a few months ago. I acclimated to a new lifestyle and reverting back to normal life will prove difficult for the first few days (or weeks). Here are just a few things I want to apologize for in advance.
1. Wearing Shower shoes
Please don’t give me weird looks if you see me coming out of the bathroom post-shower wearing flip flops. I totally forgot what it’s like to bathe barefoot without getting foreign materials and clumps of other people’s hair tangled around my toes. Showering in communal stalls for the past few months took a toll on my body, so take it easy on me. I’m probably still traumatized from seeing a pile of old band aids that weren’t mine clumped in the corner of the bathroom tiles.
2. Demanding Quiet hours
Little bro, I’m sincerely sorry if I violently shush you after 11 p.m. You’re probably just coming into my room to excitedly show me this cool new Alpha Explorer spaceship you built out of your Legos, and I promise I think it’s really cool too. It’s just sometimes I forget there’s no such thing as “quiet hours” in the real world. I’m conditioned to feel paranoid of receiving scorn from my RA for too long and breaking free from that habit will take me a while.
3. Forgetting to wash the dishes
If I forget to wash my own dishes after meals, just give me a gentle reminder. I ate so many meals at the dining hall, so I might forget my house doesn’t have a staff designated just for cleaning my dirty dishes. I grew too accustomed to putting my plates on a rolling conveyor belt and walking into a room with freshly washed dishes that I need to remind myself that I actually have to clean up after myself at home.
4. Asking for Free food
So I heard our distant relatives are hosting a family get-together. Please excuse me if the first thing that I ask is, “Will there be free food?” You see, I’m a broke college student and I’m always on the hunt for my next meal, ideally free of cost. I attended too many organization interest meetings just for the free food (trust me, I have no interest in the Bronies club). There are just so many opportunities for free things on campus and I’ve learned to take advantage of that. My survival depends on it.
5. Rushing to class
All is quiet in the house at 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning, sans the frantic sound of me getting ready. With my body still stuck on the college schedule clock, I forgot that I’m home—and that it’s a Saturday morning. After all the stress from finals week and finishing up the last of my essays and projects, my brain is probably still fried and not functioning at an optimal level. If you hear me getting ready for class at ungodly hours, reassure me that everything will be okay and I can just go back to bed.
6. Asking for extra credit
Household chore requests that I usually have no problem carrying out, like taking out the trash or doing the laundry might now be met with questions such as, “Will I get extra credit?” or “Will there be a curve?” My college mindset on the constant struggle to elevate my GPA won’t leave because I’m on break. This concept has been so deeply ingrained into my brain that I’m always on the lookout to scrape a few bonus points here and there.
Now that you recognize these symptoms and the explanations behind them, hopefully you won’t be too freaked out as to why I behave so strangely. I’m still the same daughter and sister that you used to know, just a bit more college-fied.
Your Sorry-Not-Sorry Daughter