College rules versus house rules

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Those of you living in Berkeley this summer have ahead of you a laid-back version of a regular semester. And, unless your parents missed you so much they decided to camp out in your apartment for the summer, chances are that you can stay out as late as you want and hang out with whomever you like.

But for those of us who migrated home for these sunny months, this isn’t the case. Remember how life was in high school? With curfews and the constant questions? It’s like “Back to the Future,” only this time we’re the kids again instead of our parents. It doesn’t matter that you pay your bills, buy your own groceries and manage all your own affairs at Berkeley. As soon as you’re under your parents’ roof again, you play by their rules. You’ll be transported back to your childhood — except you’re expected to act like an adult and eat all your vegetables.

None of this sounding familiar? Then your pre-college years must have been considerably different than ours. We at the Clog see college as a socializing milestone that opens up a whole new level of freedom. College forces us to mature.

Remember how scary the idea of making new friends at such a large school was when you first started? It’s a whole different ball game than high school was. It’s not just a matter of meeting up after the last bell rings with the people you met from first period. The classes at Berkeley are larger, and most people in them (unless you’re a freshman) aren’t in the mindset of meeting new people. We had to meet people in new ways, and with that came new ways of getting together once friendships were formed.

We’re not just talking about partying it up at frat row on weekends (at least, not every weekend). There’s also deciding you’re hungry at two in the morning and running to see what’s still open at Asian Ghetto; hopping on BART one afternoon because you have the urge to eat at Ghirardelli Square; living in the library with your friends during finals week because you can’t get any work done in your room and because that’s where all your favorite people are congregated in a strange combination of fun and “studying.”

At home, you lose all of this. Of course it’s great to see your family again, but having to be home by 11 p.m. after explaining your entire itinerary for the night … Ugh.

For those commuters who face this year-round, we apologize. This post probably hasn’t made you feel any better about the facts. For the rest of us facing these first-world challenges: Tough it out. Enjoy having your laundry done and eating from a fridge that’s taller than you. Soon enough, those are the things you’ll be missing instead.

Image source: loonyhiker under Creative Commons 

Contact Erum Khan at [email protected]