Another semester has come and gone. You’ve survived finals (barely), you’re done with classes (thank Cthulu!), and you’re ready for a long, relaxing summer at home. But don’t get too comfortable, in a couple of weeks when the novelty wears off, you’ll begin to feel a little conflicted about your return to the nest. We get it, you love your parents, but they’re not the squad that you left behind at school and seeing your hometown is nice for a while, but there are some things that just aren’t the same.
As we’ve heard someone say, “we might not win the game, but we never lose a party.” Beer practically flows from the Phi Mu fountain. There’s alcohol in your dorm room, alcohol at your friend’s swanky apartment, alcohol pours down fraternity row like the proverbial land of milk and honey. When you’re getting drunk, you’re getting drunk with the hottest student body in the goddamn United States of ‘Merica!
When you’re at home, all you’ve got is your parents’ sophisticated liquor cabinet. Which comes complete with a 18-year-old, single malt Scotch your dad won’t let you touch and your mother’s wine haul from Napa Valley (all of which tastes like tar on your numbed taste buds). If you’re lucky, you come from the type of family that encourages a cocktail with dinner. If you’re not so lucky, you’ll get a lecture from your father about how “just because” isn’t a worthy occasion for drinking an entire six-pack by yourself in your bedroom.
A wise philosopher on the internet once said, “Sex is like oxygen. You don’t think about how much you need it until you’re not getting any.” Your semester had been filled with countless nights of passion (or bad decisions, depending if you’re a glass half full or glass half empty type of person). Your extra-long twin bed was practically an altar to all things carnal and involving bodily fluids.
Suddenly you get home and your evenings of sex have been replaced with Antiques Roadshow. What’s worse is that your mother is still under the impression that you’re saving yourself for marriage. If, by some miracle, you manage to sneak someone into your bedroom you’re faced with task of keeping things quiet, for the sake of your parents’ innocence (and, in the case of this writer, as a result of 21 years of deeply engrained Catholic guilt); which absolutely takes the fun out of everything. “Keep it down, my parents are in the next room” sex is like a sugar-free Oreo, what’s the goddamn point?
You’re at your wit’s end. You’ve been cooped up in that godforsaken house. You’ve got to get out, but where the hell do you go? Your hometown has one, sad bar and it seems to be the favorite hangout of 35+ single dads and the occasional former classmate who, like you this summer, just couldn’t escape.
You think back to your high school days, when everyone would hang out at the Wal-Mart on Friday nights and you’re suddenly reminded that your hometown is a black hole and you need to get the hell out of there! You haunt that sad bar for a few hours, maybe catch a late movie by yourself, and blow a handful of quarters on the dilapidated Pac-Man machine at the Pizza Hut.
There’s no question, college is the greatest place in the world and, more importantly, it’s home. Isn’t that the truest sign of growing up, when there is suddenly a difference between the spaces that you call “home” versus “my parents’ house?” It’s not going to be easy surviving your hometown for the summer, but think of returning to school in the hall as the bright light at the end of the tunnel. Two months. We can do it.