It’s not just the little things, like forgetting every book but the one you actually need, or being the absolute last person in the line at the bookstore on buyback day. No longer am I able to skip the first three weeks of class and then catch-up enough to pass my midterms. I remember with fond longing when a Friday 11 a.m. class ended at half-past, or just didn’t meet at all. And that tolerance that has taken three years of intense drinking to perfect is even now trickling away as my classes now require me to actually read and discuss what I’ve read. I have come to accept certain inevitable truths. Books continue to cost too much, even across the street, and there is still no way a sane person would use a bathroom at a fraternity house. I’ve become used to the inevitable rain that will ruin my hair and makeup (if I even bother anymore), and the fact that there will never, ever be umbrellas for sale in the bookstore. The fact that I am still expected to pay $300 for a parking pass which neither guarantees me a spot nor allows me to escape the bumper-to-bumper traffic has often made me reflect on the similarities between the School of Communication parking lot and the Palmetto Expressway at rush hour. Finally, even the Herculean labor of hunting down advisors and applying for help from a financial aid office vaguely resembling the IRS in its bureaucracy, except that less people actually speak English, has become more of an accepted part of the first semester. Plus, now I’m the old one. I’m the one who gets people into bars and lends out my drivers license because I don’t need it. I sit around with my friends and talk to wide-eyed freshman about those days gone by when we would actually dress up to go to Murphy’s Law in the Grove. Clearly, being over 21 and a senior does have its drawbacks. Standing around at the gym waiting for a Pre-cor is more depressing than fun; no guy with half a brain and a college sex drive wants to look at an old senior when those pre-freshman 15’s are running around in cute workout clothes. The food court has become a lesson in how to diet. And finally, the library has become less that place to finish papers at 1 a.m. in sweatpants and more that ridiculously crowded place that I go between classes so that I don’t fall behind in teachers’ emails, homework and law school applications. The eternal pessimist, I really can’t see how this could be improved.
Laura Hadley is a senior majoring in print journalism.