Ah, college. I remember the first day like it happened yesterday. The smell of new paint covering beer-stained dorm room walls. The RAs’ stale greetings in matching neon shirts and Sharpie’d name tags. Awkward, passing smiles from strange hallmates trailed by nervous parents. Hellish name games and forced social bonding. Little did I know that I was about to embark on four of the best and life-changing years of my life … none of which would prepare me for the real world. Like, at all. Don’t get me wrong, I got an amazing education and grew as a human and all that shit, but being in college is like being ensconced under some cushioned, wonderland bubble, where nothing you do affects the real world (except maybe flunking out) and your real goal is just … to be. Here are some of the good (and bad) things that only happen in those four freak years:
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Picture it: You walk into your freshman dorm room and your roommate doesn’t have a regular extra long twin bed. Oh no. Instead, they’ve got this, a privacy pop up tent. Designed so that roommates can have privacy if they’re sexing, or watching “Dawson’s Creek,” or just trying to study, the tent comes in a variety of colors and sizes and retails for $119. I suppose it’s just as good at keeping noises and bare butts in as it is at keeping your roommate’s obnoxious study friend out. But isn’t it, I don’t know, extreme? What do you think? [Fab]
It is simple, what happened. I was an eager-eyed and relatively coy 18-year-old who was convinced that I was going to attend any four year university for acting, because I was a Capital A Actress. I applied to many schools for acting, I performed earnest monologues in front of expressionless adults behind a folding table. They thanked me for my time, my tights and sensible flats making me feel pulled together and adult. I wrote an essay about moving to California. The first paragraph contained the word “plucky,” which my eleventh grade English teacher Mr. Green circled with a red pen and scribbled “Good!” in the margin. I applied to Emerson College on a whim, as a backup plan, on the off chance that one of the prestigious and extremely competitive acting programs I applied to wouldn’t accept me. I navigated the hell that is the FAFSA, calling my father on the phone every night to make sure he got the papers and filled them out, pressing the papers into my mother’s hands, making sure that she did her part. I gathered all these things, I sent them in, I waited.
Emerson accepted me as a freshman — for writing, not acting — for the fall of 2000, a welcome relief after two weeks full of skinny rejection letters from various acting programs. I awaited the bounty of financial aid money that I would surely receive. Thanks to complications and a couple of sticky conversations about finances I mediated between my father and stepfather, it turned out that despite how it actually was, on paper, it looked like my combined parents made too much money to qualify for much financial aid, despite the fact that my mother and stepfather had already informed me they were not contributing to my higher education. What came was a paltry offering, an insult really, and not nearly enough money to pay for even one class, let alone an entire semester. After a week of tears and debate and gnashing of teeth, I had two options — apply to the state school in Buffalo, start in the spring semester and go to college in a town where it snowed from October to April, or defer admission at Emerson and reapply for financial aid. Deferring admission seemed the lesser of two evils, so I packed my bags and flew back to New York after high school graduation where I’d wait out my self-inflicted gap year. Keep reading »
To commemorate Schooled Week on The Frisky, we’re pitting celebrities against each other in the ultimate face-off: “Which Celeb Would Make The Worst Roommate Ever?”
Yesterday, Aaryn Gries entered the ring with Teresa Giudice for our fourth superstar battle, following Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus on day one, Kristen Stewart and Lindsay Lohan on day two and Kim Kardashian and Farrah Abraham on day three. In our closest duel yet, Teresa was voted as the worst celeb reality star roommate by 52% and will advance to the semi-finals, facing Farrah Abraham on August 12. Today, Miley Cyrus and Lindsay Lohan go head-to-head in the first round of the semi-finals.
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I can’t say that it was ever my concrete intent to eschew college altogether, but by the time I graduated high school by the skin of my teeth (yet with inexplicable honors in Astronomy), disillusioned and perpetually anxiety-ridden, I knew with all certainty that I didn’t want to see the inside of a classroom again for as long as I could possibly manage. A gap year would suffice, I concluded, and my parents agreed. I would get an internship, do something productive with my time off, but I’d be able to clear my head, recalibrate, take better care of myself (something I’d long neglected), put some effort into figuring out what I really wanted to do with my life and career path before I invested tens of thousands of dollars of my parents’ money in something I was not certain about and would likely dislike with vehemence and not wish to participate in within a matter of weeks or months, as I had in the past with: karate, horseback riding, the violin, classes in art and screenwriting, and a handful of other hobbies and activities that I have either forgotten or conveniently blocked out. This was the logical reasoning behind my decision. Keep reading »
Happy Schooled Week! After you get over the initial thrill of returning to class, the fun part begins — figuring out just how much you can get away with. Like, do you really need to make every session of that 8 a.m. politics seminar? Maybe. But maybe not. We’ve put together this comprehensive flowchart to help you figure out just which classes you can skip and which ones are totally necessary.