Martha Hoverson from RevGalBlogPals brings us this one:
Yesterday I returned my middle child for his second year of college. He’s an experienced dorm resident, having spent two years at a boarding high school. In the lounge at the end of his floor I found a suite of This End Up furniture that took me back to my years in the Theta house at William and Mary. I remember polishing that furniture with my sorority sisters every spring, just before we headed off for Beach Week at Nags Head.
Mindful that many others are heading off to further schooling or delivering their loved ones to the institutions that provide it, here are five questions about dorm life.
I’ve written about my second time through school, but here are some answers for that original, directly-following-high-school experience.
1) What was the hardest thing to leave behind when you went away to school for the first time? Not much. Maybe a stocked fridge and a clean house. And my waterbed.
2) We live in the era of helicopter parents. How much fuss did your parents make when you first left home? I lived at home and commuted my first two years and then lived across town in an apartment and came home every Sunday for Sunday school, church, lunch, and laundry, and often stayed through evening church. They didn’t fuss.
3) Share a favorite memory of living with schoolmates, whether in a dorm or other shared housing. Spontaneous trips to Orange County on Saturday afternoons to peruse used book stores, the game store (and whatever else) at South Coast Plaza, and then dinner at Flakey Jake’s. Mushroom cheddar burger and onion rings. Also, just staying up until all hours talking about everything.
4) What absolute necessity of college life in your day would seem hilariously out-of-date now? I was having trouble answering this one and I’m sure other people’s answers will remind me of other ideas, but I did come up with one. I was in college from 89-93, so we had computers and modems, but only just–especially the modems. Many people still have this, of course, but we had to get call waiting because one of my roommates was always online and no one could get a call through to us. Seriously. The phone would be busy hour after hour after hour as she played her MOOs or MUDs or whatever they were. Call waiting kicked the modem off when a call came in. We got that just in time, or there might have been a serious roommate breach.
5) What innovation of today do you wish had been part of your life in college? jstor!!! (and all the other online journal sources.) I might have actually done research for papers if the research had been online.
Bonus question for those whose college days feel like a long time ago: Share a rule or regulation that will seem funny now. Did you really follow it then? It was 20 years ago, but I went to a University of California and didn’t live in the dorms, so I can’t think of anything that fits this. It was the early nineties and everything was OK. In fact, I was pretty naive and sheltered, and I was a little shocked at just how OK everything was.