Why I Could Never Be in College Again

23 Dec

This fall, I attended homecoming at my alma mater. Homecoming is a big deal for well known, title winning, gigantic public school graduates– it’s all our degrees are good for! So naturally my friends and I do what all good alumni do– we came home for tailgate.

If you have never been tailgating, first, allow me to explain the ancient tradition. Tailgating is when hordes of students, parents, and alumni crowd a giant field near where a football game will be played. They basically set up Dorthraki style encampments, complete with tents, tables, meat grilling pits, and primitive games.

When the football game actually starts, the crowd retreats to varies locations to nurse hangovers and sober up before driving home. Some even attend the game. Security usually drives through the fields, dispersing stragglers and encouraging people to attend the football game.

This Saturday, it was decided that we would wake up at 8:00am and go tailgating.

I’m sorry, did I say 8:00am? Yes. Yes I did. We concocted a whole elaborate plan whereby our group of 20 would arrive at the same time and find parking together.

We met at a fully disclosed, in no way central location to consolidate cars and begin the hour and a half procession. Phones rang at ten minute intervals as more cars attempted to join our caravan.

Joining the caravan sounds easy but is not. To join the caravan, all five cars must leave the highway together and circle up in commuter lots and elementary schools.

Occasionally, we arrived at the designated rendezvous only to find the straggler had moved on. After the last such disaster, we wondered why we didn’t just meet at a gas station right in front of the tailgate, instead of taking this painfully slow route where we were cursed to drive 50 on the highway for fear of losing our slower members.

We finally arrived, a full five hours before the game. Due to our foresight, we snagged a coveted plot of prime parking space: adjacent to the Port-A-Potties. In case you were wondering, our encampment smelled like dead raccoons.

Yes, the car is floating in midair

At first this was great because we didn’t have to go far to use the bathroom, but eventually we realized this was not such a good idea. Our tents stood directly in the natural growth pattern of the bathroom line, and hoards of drunk undergrads wound their way directly in our line of fire.

Eventually, the guys just started using the bushes a their own public restrooms like they usually do, proving that being closer to the port-a-potties does nothing besides cause lung poising.

This picture is unusually awful

The thing about being an old person around undergrads is that it’s enormously depressing. Everyone is young and full of promise, talking about last night’s party– meanwhile the rest of us are sitting on coolers discussing the tax bracket in New York and comparing health benefits.

At one point, an entire pack of twenty year olds swarmed past our tent, looking like the contents of an overturned beehive. Every girl wore knee-length leather boots and a North Face, and every guy wore a sweatshirt and jeans. We stared in amazement as this crowd of people passed, seemingly unaware or simply unconcerned that they looked like a color-coordinated cult. Were we oblivious sheep in college?

We suddenly recalled memories of UGGs and skirts from our foggy adult brains, looking away in shame. We were oblivious sheep, we were. But underneath the judgement and the grump, there was a bit of awe there, too. We had regressed beyond the point of caring about fashion. Suddenly our business professional lifestyles and our need for comfort were more important than looking “in” or “stylish.” Quietly and without warning, we had become our parents.

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2 Responses to “Why I Could Never Be in College Again”

  1. Sydney Gilbey December 23, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    We all grow up sometime! 3: )

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