Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I Wasn't Special I Guess

"We need to stop endlessly repeating 'You're special' and having children repeat that back."

This bit of wisdom comes the way of Yahoo and is an exert about college students becoming more self centered, more indulged and thus more spoiled. I tend to agree to a certain extent. My college experience was one of hard work, plenty of drinking, two or sometimes three jobs, and learning all kinds of things that couldn't be taught in any classroom.

1. Living with a slutty girl who would sneak off in the night to sleep with random men, not my cup of tea.

2. Having a single dollar for three weeks, because as soon as I broke it, I'd be left with a pile of change, which was somehow worse.

3. Working late nights in the computer lab, because no one really had their own computers back then.

4. Wasn't allowed to have a car as a freshman on campus. Which actually turned out to be a good thing. It forced me to stay up in Big Rapids, and get to know people.
5. Forced to eat in the cafeteria, which meant on Sundays, the hall was closed at 2pm. Most Sunday nights, I ate microwave popcorn for dinner.

6. My parents did what they could to send me money, but they sort of spend it all sending me to college. Extra spending money was up to me. Over the course of four plus years in college, I worked at the cafeteria as a dish-washer, In the Hockey Rink as a concession stand worker, at a Hot and Now, that I had to stalk till they gave me a job, and my reward was a bright purple T-Shirt that said, Hot and Now on it with a lightning bolt in bold yellow, and my final job, which I held for a few years was the carry out window of a certain dining hall. I worked back there pretty much on my own, took phone orders and handed food out the window. This was mostly fine, until the word got out, that apparently I had a "sexy phone voice", and men would call and order pizza like they'd just dialed a 900 number.

7. Having $8 dollars in my bank account, so I had to go to the bank drive-thru and ask for my money.

8. Living on rasin bran for several weeks at a time, as it was filling and cheap.

9. Going to Casey McNab's on Tuesdays for Quarter taco night, and having just enough left over for one beer.

10. Riding around town on the Dial a Ride, which was this big bus that would take you anywhere for a dollar. Not that great of a treat when the only places you could go were K-Mart, and the Dairy Queen, but only in the summer.

If I ever have kids, I'll make sure they have jobs so they appreciate things more and don't expect things to be handed to them, but hopefully they won't have to hold three jobs, plus school.

I'm not complaining, but I sure didn't whine about my lack of computer or much else. I was and still am grateful that my parents could send me to college. That was my gift. And I never forgot how hard they both worked to give me an education. It wasn't their job. If they chose too, after high school they could've just told me, that's it. You're on your own. But they didn't.

In case either of you are reading this, thanks mom and dad.


Anonymous said...

Your college experience sounds exactly like mine - and I am forever thankful for it, as well.

Barrie said...

although we're a few years apart, i feel like i had kinda the same experience. except, i'd forego the $2 in my bank account and just risk the bouncing charges. thus, i'd be in the hole (once at a whopping $300) way too often.

oh, and people leaving in the middle of the night... well, it is college. maybe your roommate was slutty, but believe me i was at a certain frat house late at night till the early morning for nearly a year. a girl has needs! and you know i'm no slut.

i guess the only difference was all the jobs i didn't have. i liked pot too much to sustain more than one job, and even that didn't pay much.

shit, okay i guess the only thing in common was our lack of money and a car (not until my sophmore year).

but thank god for grants, scholarships and a pre-paid college fund i received an education and then still didn't know what i'd do with it.