(Disclaimer: The following is a list of college experiences compiled from the HPB Blog Team and is not meant to directly reflect my own college experience. Except for the brilliant & funny bits — those are all totally mine. Also, please prepare yourself for some nudges to buy your textbooks from HPB.)
1. Move to college town. Feel so excited you might puke on your shoes. Or your new pot-luck roommate’s shoes. Try hard not to.
2. Get your textbooks. Which you ordered from hpbmarketplace.com (of course). Cheer (quietly, because roommate is napping. Again.) Roommate did not order textbooks from hpbmarketplace.com. Start to suspect this regret may be adding to her depression (naturally).
3. Request change of residence. Because roommate had a nervous breakdown, which may or may not have been textbook-related (but obviously it was).
4. Two words: Ramen Noodles
5. Two more words: Spaghetti O’s
6. Write a check at the copy shop for $1.27. Which bounces.
7. Forage for snacks. Take zip top bags to the dorm cafeteria and stash to-go food secretly in your back pack.
8. Acquire the resolve to do well in college, graduate, and get a job that pays enough to not have to eat mustard packets for dinner. Until then, make some cash by selling your first semester textbooks to Half Price Books. Use windfall to upgrade mustard from French’s to Grey Poupon.
9. Get dumped by your girlfriend/boyfriend. Woe. Gloom. Despair.
10. Visit the Home Laundromat. Take trunkfuls of dirty laundry home to visit Mom. Upload enough “fun” pictures to Facebook to make all your high school friends believe you’re having the time of your life. Ask Mom if it’s normal to feel like you’re not having the time of your life. Feel better when she lends you a poetry book on finding yourself. (Which she ordered– wait for it — from hpbmarketplace.com.)
11. Wipe tears, and try again. Play the field. Find a new girlfriend/boyfriend, or fall in love with being on your own. Joy. Glee. Euphoria.
12. Join the intramural badminton team. Design the uniforms, including monogrammed sweatbands.
13. Score some battle scars. Try out for the local roller derby league, only to show off your best bruises to your sorority sisters.
14. Get involved on campus. Make some friends. Pledge a fraternity/sorority/social group, and find yourself doing and saying things you never thought you’d do or say (for which you can make fun of yourself years later, with the rock solid friends who did and said those things with you.) Wear school colors. Sing school songs. Develop undying hatred for rival schools and their state’s inhabitants.
15. See your favorite band in concert for the first time. Call home and hold up your cell phone for your brother, who’s introduced them to all his high school friends. Buy him a half-priced LP for his birthday.
16. Watch six movies in a row. Decide you’re going to film school.
17. Learn to play the guitar. Decide you’re dropping out of school (don’t, though.)
18. Arm-wrestle. Thumb-wrestle. Lip-wrestle. (Just don’t actually wrestle. Unless you’re on the wrestling team, of course. Or playing Twister.)
19. Travel or study abroad. Don’t watch the movie Taken first. Grow up by leaps and bounds.
20. Immediately upload Louvre and Big Ben pictures to Facebook. Remember that discussion with your mom over laundry freshman year. Find the same inspirational poetry book at your local Half Price Books and give it to one of your new freshman friends, whose life it changes. (Don’t ask us how. It just does.)
21. Sit in on a class you’re not taking because you heard the professor is that good (or, because you’re majoring in Petroleum Engineering but actually want to learn about Cultural Anthropology.) Find the material so fascinating you order the textbook for some light reading. Guess where from.
22. Change majors — because the textbook makes you realize that Petroleum Engineering is rubbish and Cultural Anthropology is your real passion in life. Order more textbooks. Come to terms with the fact that Petroleum Engineering would have actually made for better job prospects than Cultural Anthropology, but it’s cool, because you decide you’d like to do Teach for America/Grad school/Peace Corps upon graduation. Realize you need to start volunteering. And recycling. And applying.
23. Meanwhile, turn 21. Go out and celebrate. Try not to die.
24. Curse loudly. Because while you succeeded in not dying, you discover that your car has been towed.
25. Eat your feelings. By comforting yourself with pizza from a downtown street vendor at 2 a.m.
26. Make impulsive decisions. Feeling sorry for yourself morphs into wild abandon. Get a tattoo from a downtown shop at 2:15 a.m.
27. Regret those decisions. Sob into your pancakes at 3 a.m. Because now Tommy’s hungry.
28. Realize the epic brilliance of “the fourth meal.” It heals all wounds. And tattoos are (mostly) removable.
29. Watch the sunrise. Pass out till it’s dark again. Boot. Rally.
30. Have an epiphany. Discover that red Solo cups are the key to everything fun in life.
31. Have an actual epiphany. Think often about Mom and her infinite laundry-scented-poetry-book wisdom. Learn (in a myriad ways) that maybe college is not “the best time of your life.” And that’s okay. Isn’t it better to believe that your best days are ahead?
*Seriously though, you should order your textbooks from us. If you shop HPB Marketplace online, you can save up to 90% off campus bookstore prices. You can impress mom and dad before the semester even starts. If you’re a procrastinator (like me), be sure to choose expedited shipping to make sure those textbooks arrive in time for class. You’ll thank me for it later. Cross my heart.
And in the meantime, what are (were) your best college experiences (even if they were the worst at the time?)
– Kristen D.