I wish I could be an undergraduate forever – not because I want to sleep in late and avoid paying taxes or living as a functional adult. I want to be an undergrad because I miss it. I miss being surrounded by people my own age constantly – people with diverse backgrounds and ideals and experiences, but motivated, hardworking people nonetheless. I miss the drive and the intensity of the people I knew. Law school, medical school, the state department – these were all goals my friends were working toward. Engineers, classicists, historians – these were the people my friends were becoming. I miss staying up all night talking about relationships, death, God and Chat Roulette.
I miss being able to drag our mattresses into one room, to watch TV and snuggle and to sleep side-by-side, safe and comforted. I miss the nights of insomnia and the sunrises on top of the parking garage. The late night drives out of boredom, after fights and tears, to retrieve a drunken friend. I miss the constant activity – rush events, fraternity events, internships, job fairs, campus concerts, finals, spring break, birthdays and registration days. I miss the idea of working hard and playing hard. No one slept, everyone drank energy drinks to survive and lazed around until the moment before something was due. I miss jumping gates into locked pools and late-night hot-tub parties. I miss watching friends climb onto rooftops, proofreading personal statements and scholarship essays, passive aggressive post-it notes and terribly long fraternity elections.
I miss days filled with class, work, meetings, internships and still finding times for boyfriends and booze and Sex and the City. I miss getting ready for rituals with my girls. I miss never having to look far for someone to help me pick out an outfit. I miss the adrenaline rush of waking up 15 minutes before work, and still making it in time. I miss bootlegged movies and illegally scanned textbooks and bartering for used textbooks. I miss financial aid payout days and begging your friends to buy you lunch at the end of the semester. I miss classrooms with crappy service and emergency campus alerts no one took seriously. I miss Christmas lights making a room look like a Mexican restaurant, I miss parking citations and bitching about campus police.
I miss dreaming about future goals, I miss incredible accomplishments, I miss being so proud of the people I know, the people I loved. I miss solo cups and sticky floors, kisses and cigarette butts, stray cats and shrieking – out of anger, pain, joy and love. I miss the best years of my life.