As I was browsing the sale racks at Abercrombie the other day, I was hit by a startling realization. My college experience is eerily similar to my middle school years. Sure it’s a drunker, much cuter, way more fun version of middle school but the similarities are definitely present.
For starters, there’s the weight. As my mom likes to put it (bless her lying soul), my middle school years encompassed what was just an unusually long and unfortunate awkward stage. As I like to put it, I had no control over my body and was downright chunky. Puberty was not my friend and wasted no time pummeling my self-esteem. While my friend’s bodies were virtually indistinguishable from the boys’, I was worried I was somehow pregnant because how the hell else could I be this big? The fat years didn’t last forever, and I was blissfully tiny in high school. Despite being told time and time again that it would happen, pre-college me thought there was no way I could gain the weight again. Then I joined my sorority, my college life really started, and I was introduced to two concepts that changed my life: day drinking and the pill. Needless to say, I returned home from my freshman year desperately in need of a few new pairs of jeans, and telling myself I would run every single day to work it off (lol nope).
Perhaps the most unfortunate similarity is the sheer amount of bad decisions made in basements. Seriously, it’s like basements were made for questionable decision-making. In high school, I was free to make bad decisions on all levels of the house because parties were rarely thrown unless the host’s parents were no longer present, but basements have played a prominent role otherwise. Sneaking a sip of alcohol for the first time? Middle school basement. Drinking too much cheap vodka straight from the handle? Frat basement. Piercing my own cartilage? Middle school basement. Slurring to my sisters that I was leaving with that cute guy, what’s-his-name-again? Frat basement. Playing truth or dare? Middle school basement. Crying over my ex-boyfriend with a stranger in a corner? Frat basement. Enough said.
Finally, I have discovered that only during my middle school and college years have I used the words “boys” and “exciting” in the same sentence. Admittedly, it’s more common to hear me using “fuck” in the sentence with “boys”, but the excitement is always there under the surface. In middle school, boys were exciting. First kisses were had, dancing (read: awkwardly bumping my butt against some pre-pubescent dude’s hips) occurred, and having a boyfriend was a thing. By high school, the mystery was gone and I was bored of the same boys I’d known since grade school. And then I attended my first frat party and suddenly they were no longer boys, they were men (ish). Very attractive, brand new, fraternity men. Can you say swoon? Sure, guys will always be immature, but with the blinding influence of alcohol, doing a backflip off of the frat porch after shot-gunning a beer is really, really sexy. Asking me to be your beer pong partner is even sexier. Are those butterflies in my stomach as we stumble back to your room? What is this emotion that I am feeling about the prospect of telling my sisters about you tomorrow?
It goes without saying that despite the many similarities, being in college is a hell of a lot better than being in middle school. And it’s not just because I’m shopping at the Abercrombie & Fitch store instead of just lower-case abercrombie these days. But that is definitely part of it..
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