Preparing for College (in a More Practical Sense)

June 05, 2007

If an omniscient viewer peeked into my life for a period of time, he or she would notice that I follow a simple and set routine. I wake up, brush my teeth, pick out my day’s attire, and go to school. After school, I toss my dirty clothes into the laundry basket, take a shower, and slip into a more comfortable outfit. While I sniff the wafting aroma of dinner, I start my homework while periodically checking my Facebook account. After dinner, I complete the rest of my homework and pack my bags for school. Rubbing my eyes, I brush my teeth, wash my face, and settle into the short-lived bliss of sleep. Lather, rinse and repeat. That’s the life of Kristin Drew on a weekday.

While I ponder my glorified status as a second semester senior, I cannot fathom that I will know my eventual college destiny in a few weeks. However, as I imagine the pros of college, I suddenly realize the imminent cons.

While I have prepared myself to succeed in college academically, I know that I might fail when it comes to the smaller things. Since I devote so much time for school, I sometimes forget about things as simple as my tube of toothpaste or my ironed and laundered shirts. While calculus might aid me for a future physics seminar, it certainly won’t appease my hunger, provide me with clean clothes, or keep my pearly whites cavity-free. Indeed, my parents alleviate academic stress for me because they spoon-feed me these crucial necessities.

While I dream about the independence associated with college, how can I imagine such freedom when I don’t even know the basics of laundry detergent? I no longer need to wear straight-laced shirts from my high school dress code, but I do want to wear decent attire to represent myself properly.

If I could choose between acing a huge biology test and eating well, I would rather ace biology on an empty stomach. However, a culinary cognoscente can’t survive on Doritos and Ramen noodles alone. My mom always made homemade Korean dishes from scratch. How can I live far away from her world-famous kalbi (Korean barbeque)? How can I live without my dad fixing things that break around the house? Sometimes I worry that I will struggle in the balance of living life pragmatically, academically and pleasurably.

I need to prepare myself for the “real world.” While I learn to operate this so-called “washing machine,” I will also learn how to make my mom’s two-minute green beans in a microwave. Instead of checking out a cute dress at the mall, I am going to invest in some causal jeans and machine-washable t-shirts. The realities of life are staring me in the eye and telling me that I need to get my act together. Until then, I’ve got boot camp with the Snuggle Bear.

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