October break is here, which means it’s time to unlearn the compulsive routine you’ve ritualistically performed over the past two months at college. Over this relatively short time away from home, you have already forgotten many things about your house, such as…
What it’s like without a meal plan.
You are so accustomed to having hot pizza available at all waking hours of the day. You wander into the kitchen, where you swiftly realize that all meals you could be eating are sitting separately in the refrigerator as their most basic components. You end up eating an inordinate amount of cereal.
You have slept in this bed every night for the past fifteen years. You have experienced it while conscious and unconscious. You should theoretically know it better than anything. But you will still wake up confused when the wall is on the wrong side.
The amount of papers you left sitting on your desk.
You seem to recall telling yourself, I don’t need to worry about these papers. I’ll sort them when I get home for break, seemingly under the assumption that by then you would come across some cosmic revelation that would tell you what to do with the fire-hazard levels of documents in your room. You haven’t.
That you don’t need to take your keycard everywhere.
You panic when you get out of the shower and can’t find your key. You search for your ID before you go to eat. You instinctively pat your pockets before you let your door close behind you. You live in a constant state of paranoia.
How to drive.
After two months without access to a car, you need to reorient yourself with every button, lever, and windshield-wiper-setting-dial. You don’t think it’s a problem until you are trying to back out of the driveway and forget to take the car out of “park.”
Your dorm had a relative lack of cat fur. Here, every surface with friction has at least a thin layer of hair clinging to its surface. It is as inescapable as responsibility, and just as omnipresent.
What it’s like not having homework due the next morning.
You simply do not know what to do when you are not doing homework or procrastinating on homework. You start to think, is this the real life I’ve been preparing for? All school has trained me to do is write papers that barely meet the page requirement and remember things just long enough to take an exam. This is all I know. Now that you have unbridled time, you have no idea what I actually want to do with my life. You turn on your computer and start writing a blog post to distract you from the oblivion of introspection.