When the first week of classes started I got a few texts from people asking, "Will where are you?!" The sentiment was good, at least I think it was, but it did show that some things have slipped from people's mind. For those unaware, I am not on campus because I am heading to the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich, England for my semester abroad. Being away from school definitely has its benefits, after all I get more time in L.A., but there are some things I miss about the private liberal arts that I have attended for 2 years now.
Below is a brief list of 10 things I miss about being at HWS in particular, but I think this list can accommodate most college experiences. What do you love most about your time at your university of college? Comment below!
1. Being in Walking Distance of Friends
If you have never been to L.A. you should know that driving is crucial, and you should always have a playlist handy for freeway on the 5. Unlike NYC, I won't even mention suburbs because no, you cannot get from point A to point B in minutes. Thus, seeing my friends while I'm home is a commitment I have to make. If I want to see a friend we have to plan ahead and still consider parking, traffic, and etc. When I'm at school all I have to do is FaceTime my friend letting them know that I'm already outside the dorm hall. I miss being able to walk up and down the hall seeing someone I can chat up. Of course, I also miss being able to crash in someone's room and order bad pizza while we watch even worse reality TV. My room last year had a balcony, so you know there were plenty of mimosas made there.
2. Free Booze
Part of the college experience is learning your alcohol tolerance, and then for most, ignoring it and getting blasted. From shotgunning in the communal showers, to making Jello shots in the common room table, there is alcohol everywhere. The most astonishing part is that it's usually always free! Whether someone's dad stocked them up, or theres a keg in the corner, you can always find someone willing to share there liquid gold. If you want something classier, like Rose champagne, then you do have to shed some Bens. My pro tip: get Everclear! One shot, two if you hate yourself, in a Gatorade bottle and you're set!
3. Readily Available Food
Okay so cafeteria food is nothing worth bragging about, but it is something. Whenever I get hungry I cannot easily swipe my card from sustenance, because my Mom is quick to call and bark about how I am spending HER money. Being home means that my food can actually have flavor, but it requires some preparation and a lot of researching Top Chef. I have to admit that having a place to hang out with friends and dine without THAT MUCH of a wait has some perks.
4. Holidays are Huge
By far one of my favorite things about school is that the holiday spirit is alive and thriving! Every holiday has a 3 day event, and even "Christmas in April" makes sense if you let it. In high school most people are in the "too cool" phase of adolescents, and their celebratory spirit suffers. But, in college you learn that you don't always have to care, and this allows people to go full out with there costumes. I remember having 3 Halloween costumes this year, and some people had 4! Gosh I love costume parties and I love how huge the festivities are at HWS!
5. Going to Class, No Really!
The thing most people forget to discuss about their higher education experience is the actual education part. Part of the charm of going to a liberal arts means that I don't have those year or 2 year requirements like most schools. I also get to develop an authentic professional relationship with my professors. At HWS, I get to learn all about the different types of rhetoric that exist, and I get to watch films that I never would have encountered on my own. Of course, I can't stand those who think their major is the hardest thing in the world. Honestly, calm down. I enjoy having thought provoking conversations about things like contemporary discourses, feminist pedagogy, and systems of oppression, because it helps me grow as a person and as a future mover and shaker.
6. Activities All Around
Part of the fun at college is more than the parties, it's going to the different activities happening on campus. Some of my favorite events include the annual Halloween drag show, the Spring fest, and Senior Week! Honestly, the turn out isn't always that great, but when my friends and I show up we make turn it up! Granted most of the time we're blasted, but that's half the fun!
7. Not Having to Ask for Permission
This point doesn't really apply to me since my parents never really restricted me, but for many the moment they hit campus they sprint to exercise independence. Yet, I do get battered with questions when I head out when it's late or when my plans seem spontaneous. Something I do not deal with at school. Actually, I remember getting a "Wyd" text at 10 PM and by 11 PM I would be on top of a table blaring "Sweet Caroline." I have tried making spontaneous plans with friends while being home, and I usually hear, "Let me ask my parents" and if we do go out a curfew seems to be in place. Before heading back to HWS, two fellow Posse mates slept over a few weekends since we went clubbing in Hollywood. One night they even slept in their car, and my parents found them in front of the house asking themselves, "What the hell?" This kind of randomness is part of what I miss at being at school, because there no one has to report to anyone but themselves.
8. Bumping into a New Best Friend
I may seem like an extrovert born for the world of PR, but when I'm home I find it hard to meet new people. Honestly, I find it tiring. When I'm at school, I have no issues creating a conversation about a shared class, some interesting fashion choice, or an upcoming event, and people are usually receptive. Some of the best people I have met have been through an unexpected means. That's part of the unexpected joy of college, you never know who you will meet next!
9. Pizza Being Part of my Diet
When I think of college, one thing that comes to mind is the money I have poured into the greasy goodness that is pizza. It's a staple of a college diet because it's a versatile meal. You can eat it 3 times a day, eat a day later, eat it sober, or indulge when you're drunk. You have so many types to chose from too! Thin crust, cheese stuffed, NY style, Cam's, Mark's, the limit does not exist on what to spend your drunk dollars on. One of my greatest pizza memories includes is when my friend and I were awaiting a Mark's delivery, and I was also expecting company. I told him to get the pizza downstairs, while I got mine upstairs. Seriously you can eat pizza whenever.
10. Not Being Shamed for Wearing Sweats in Public
An unspoken rule in college is that it's okay to wear sweats around. You could say that the athleisure trend is changing people's opinions and making sweats okay, but really college students were ahead of this trend. I remember the first time I wore joggers and a sweatshirt to class I felt like I had disappointed the Calvin Klein gods. When I looked around I realized that everyone was on the same boat, the S.S. Hella Comfy. In L.A. you dress up, and even your comfort clothes should be tailored and showy. Sometimes I just want to feel like a potato, and that's okay. Because we're all still a little drunk from last night, and who really has the time to dress up for 15 people?
Author William Samayoa
Marketer by profession and storyteller by passion. L.A. raised, proud Latino, and pop culture enthusiast.