Kids, Don’t Try This at Home: College Behavior that Won’t Fly with Your Parents

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Ever feel like you’re living two separate lives: one at home and one at school? This whole “double identity” is no joke. Think of all the things you do at college that are totally inappropriate at home. Maybe it’s the people around us. Maybe there are just different time zones for social taboos. Whatever it is, some “activities” just cannot be packed up and brought home like your fabulous winter sweaters.

1. 24-Hour PJ Policy

This policy is upheld by those brave souls who wake up at 8:55 for their 9 a.m. and who refuse to accept that hot-dog pajama pants are “unacceptable” to wear to the dining hall from Saturday to Sunday. At home, for some bewildering reason, the parentals get all riled up if you even try walking outside in your pjs to get the mail… or a haircut. Heads-up, DAD, this isn’t the 17th century anymore. (Warning: this particular retort only makes things worse.)

2. All-Nighters

Rarely acceptable in any situation, but sometimes you have to turn a library booth into a makeshift bed to finish that paper on deadline—all while not losing your mind (good luck). At home? 1. Your dad would never allow it. 2. It’s straight up impossible. All ability and motivation to stay up past midnight gets left at school. Bed time: 11:30 p.m. You wild party animal, you.

3. Half-sleepovers with Boyzzz

Beloved half-sleepovers are the nights when your guy friends view walking all the way back to their dorm as an unspoken evil (10 feet? Unacceptable). Only in the a.m. does the idea of sleeping in their own bed get them to leave. Having boys in your room until 2 a.m. may be so college but at home (stealing my mum’s go-to line), what kind of mother would allow that?

4. Sleep Arrangements: My Bed or The Floor

When visiting a friend at school, you usually get two options: cozy up in a twin bed or suck it up on the floor. When friends stay over at home, they expect the freakin’ works. No sharing, they want their own of everything: beds, air mattresses, comforters, pillows. Like they’re royalty or the members of One Direction. Me (aka, wonderful friend): Listen, you ain’t something special. Now, bed or floor?!

5. “Laundry”

Sorry, ma, but it just doesn’t happen at school. Who has the time, motivation or quarters for such nonsense? Besides, college students are nothing if not innovative. If you can’t make it six weeks without doing laundry, then you clearly don’t have enough underwear. Now at home, the ‘rents use words like “gross,” “pigsty” and “body odor” to shame you into cleaning your gym socks after one wear. You clearly didn’t inherit your resourcefulness from them.

6. Netflix over… Everything

You know at school when you say you’re going to finish all your homework, write that paper a week in advance and solve world hunger? Then, reality strikes and you’re still in bed with eight hours of Netflix under your belt. The habit turns deadly at home. When your mom hands you the grocery list in the morning and you hand over an eloquent summary of all 13 chapters of season one of House of Cards at the end of the day, you die.

7. Binge Drinking

Binge drinking: a crowd favorite in college. How else to occupy ourselves on weekends and the occasional Thursday night? (Go to the movies, you say? Hang out sober– now you’re just talking crazy). Binge drinking at home just doesn’t go over as well. What do you say to finishing off this bottle of Smirnoff this Friday? No? Mom, are you telling me I’m going to have to finish this myself?

8. Pregaming

All hail the pregame, am I right? It’s a great activity for an off-campus party, a terrible movie (ahem, Fifty Shades of Grey), and any sporting event… all events. But for some reason tequila shots are not as big a crowd pleaser with your parents as they are with friends. What do you mean we’re not pre-gaming grandma’s 90th birthday?

9. Non-discriminatory Flirting

I’m sorry, but at college this is my autopilot. There are just too many beautiful gentlemen around to not flirt shamelessly. But back home, who do you see? Family, pets and maybe, maybe, some high school friends. Flirting with this rag tag crew is just messy. Number one, incest. Number two, my cat is so out of my league and knows it. Number three, why go there now when you weren’t willing to before? Remember back home, you are, for good reason, celibate nun. Especially since the sexy football player started working at the movie theater…

10. Out-of-control Snacking

Just as non-discriminatory at school: snacking. Sorry, but dining hall food sucks. Never satisfied, you eat a lunch with a serving size of three people, going back for yogurt, tater tots and cookies. The best part: no one dares to judge you. How can you fill up on mediocrity? But for some reason, your mom gets pissed when the week supply of snacks goes missing the first night you’re back on break. Menopause, anyone? (Another line that does not go over well.)

11. Late Night Deliveries

The 1 a.m. (drunk) munchies plague all of us. At school it’s totally acceptable to have Domino’s on speed dial– in fact, it’s encouraged. Imagine the doorbell waking your mom up at 2 a.m. She puts her bathrobe on only to discover a deliveryman handing you a hamburger pizza. I dare you to possibly imagine a happy ending for that scenario.

12. That “I’m going to work out later” BS

No one at school judges you for pretending to work out because, let’s be honest, the most taxing regiment of the average college student consists of a three-second walk to the snack box in their room. Now parents, on the other hand, dare to interrupt binge marathons of Game of Thrones with pestering and ridiculous questions like, “Didn’t you say you were going to the gym today?” Quick life lesson: life is just people lying to each other’s faces and the world spinning right along.

13. Facebook Creeping

Nobody is safe from Facebook’s range. I may not have looked twice at you on the sidewalk but if you’re cute, I’ll have your shirtless profile pic from last summer in my phone history by the end of the day. In those 24 hours, my friends will also have ogled and appreciated your abs. And yet, when I’m telling my mom a story about so-and-so blinking at me in Brit lit, she offers not even the smallest bit of gratitude when I supplement the incredible love story with several pleasing Facebook pictures. Honestly, people these days.

Maybe most students love college so much because we have the freedom to do whatever the hell we want. During what other period of our life will we get away with so freakin’ much? As adults, we’ll have to dress up, provide guest rooms, actually work out, drink responsibly– this shit is exactly why Peter Pan never grew up. The very word “responsibility” has a mythical connotation in college. So be reckless and a little gross while you can, my little college cherubs.

Andrea is a sophomore English major at Boston College. She enjoys binge snacking, psychoanalyzing her friends and saying medium instead of grande just to piss Starbucks employees off. Friends and cute boys call her Anna.

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