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#CollegeLifeChallenge

They say that youth is wasted on the young. I decided to find out if that’s true.

Chelsea Rademacher ’13
January 25, 2016

Walking down Lake Street to work one day, a thought popped into my head. “I wish I could wear leggings and sneakers to work. College students have it made.”

I mean, think about when you were in college. How often did you hear, “These will be the best years of your life,” or, “You’ll never have more fun than you’re having now”? Sure, you’ve got responsibilities … but, like, sorta. It’s not life or death if you skip that one class on Friday. And yeah, you’re up to your ears in debt, but what’s ~*one*~ more lunch on State Street? You can stay up as late as you want, because you don’t have to spend time getting ready in the morning. Sweats and a ponytail solve so many problems.

I started making a list of everything that #collegelife2 entails: microwaveable noodles, all-nighters, sweat pants (obvi3).

I miss them. So much.

Semi-jokingly, I pitched an idea: “It’d be, like, a challenge?” I halfheartedly offered. “I could tweet about it. And after, we could challenge alumni to do it.” Plus, I would totally be down with wearing scrubby clothes to work for a week. In an unforeseen turn of events, my boss said, “That could actually be really good.”

I’ll let you be the judge of that. Here’s what went down…

Monday

1. Oversleep and be out the door in 30 minutes
2. Take laundry to Mom’s

I very happily overslept on Monday morning. I also very happily threw on the first pair of leggings and Badger shirt that I could find in my closet. Do you remember how awesome backpacks are? Normally I’m running into work carrying a purse, a computer bag, a change of shoes, my coffee, a smoothie, and a partridge in a pear tree. It is SO much easier to throw all that stuff in a backpack.

Not gonna lie, I felt super out of place in my first meeting of the day. Everyone else is there in blazers, looking like normal grownups, and here I am — unwashed hair in a messy ponytail, like I got ready in like 30 minutes. Oh wait…

I was supposed to take my laundry to my mother’s apartment after work. However … the thought of packing it all up and hauling it all the way over there sounded less than ideal. I instinctively reverted to my less-than-hygienic college ways. Besides, watching The Bachelor seemed wayyyy4 better. Bach5 is lit6.

Tuesday

  1. Go to bacon night at Wando’s
  2. Pull an all-nighter to finish a book

Shout-out to my boss for telling me I had to read all of Voltaire’s Candide for Wednesday. Thanks for playing along. This challenge absolutely beat me. Well, bacon night happened. The all-nighter part, not so much. I got home and started reading around 10:30 p.m. (so far, so collegiate) … but after about 30 pages, I fell asleep. Now I remember why I never read in my bed when I was a student.

Side-note: I’ve decided that when you put free in front of food, it eliminates any disgustingness one might otherwise notice. Particularly when you’re in college. Let’s be honest 7 , your bar is real8 low in college.

Wednesday

1. Procrastinate, but finish everything by 5 p.m.

The Wi-Fi went out at work today. Perf9. Just like dorm life. Though honestly it helped my procrastination challenge. (Sorry, boss, yes I was on Pinterest today #forthestory.) Tbh10 I have no idea why college students procrastinate. Like it’s so stressful. Why spend eight hours watching Grey’s Anatomy reruns and, I dunno, maybe pinning things to a hypothetical wedding board when you could actually be getting your stuff done? Beats me.

Also11 realizing at this point that I’m a person who needs eight hours of sleep. And 30 minutes may be enough time to get (kind of) ready, but I really need more time to sit, eat breakfast, and wake up. Plus I miss my daily Al Roker.

Thursday

1. Kick off the weekend with a group fitness class
Thursday got off to a ~*great*~ start.

For whatever reason, hot yoga seems to be the totally in-thing among college kiddies these day. Why they want to pay exorbitant amounts of money to go stand on their heads in a 100-degree room with floor-to-ceiling windows is beyond me. Yet the yoga studio in East Campus Mall is always packed.

I tried to master this challenge on January 14, before the students all got back from winter break. That meant most classes at the Inner Fire studio were cancelled. Instead, I decided to try out a barre class — something else I’ve heard the young-uns are doing these days.

It was a phenomenal workout; however, I felt markedly out of my demo. For one, I showed up in athletic shorts and a tank from Target. Apparently, loose-fitting tank tops paired with geometrically patterned, fluorescent leggings are the uniform. Oh well.

The key to this challenge is that I paid real money for the class — a three-session intro for $30. I will go back to this studio for two more classes. I will not waste that money. But my question is this: Students, you know you can use the SERF and Nat for free, right? And they, like … also have fitness classes?

Friday

1. Complete a full student week — that is, skip Friday.

Skipping Fridays is essential to college life. So, I skipped it. That is, I skipped the #CollegeLifeChallenge, not work. I’m at my desk rn12. And I’m happily back in normal clothes, doing my normal adult thing.

#CollegeLifeChallenge complete!

What did I gain by doing this? One, my feet were extremely comfortable from wearing my orthotic snow boots and sneakers all week. Also, my right shoulder didn’t hurt from lugging my Mary Poppins bag around everywhere.

More importantly, I think I found out why people say that your college years are the best of your life. Rather than thinking about all of the should-dos — I should go to sleep so I’m not tired for work; I should stay home instead of meeting friends so I can clean up — I just did what felt fun. Late-night Target run? Why not? Drinks on a Tuesday? Count me in! It’s a mentality that we all should revisit every now and again. Not to get all Peter Pan on you, but sometimes it’s fun to forget you’re an adult.

Later, bitties13.

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1 ~* *~ (int): a symbol one places around a word to add emphasis, popularized by Buzzfeed.com; a slight nod to instant messaging conventions of the early 2000s, particularly as it pertained to screen names. Ex. ~*sk8rGurL91*~

2 # (int): previously known as the number or pound sign; synonymous to ~* *~, but used on social media to “tag” words or phrases Ex.: I wonder how many other people are talking about how adorable Ben H. is on The Bachelor. Let me click on #ItsRainingBen to find out.

3 obvi (abbrv): an abbreviation of the adverb obviously; meant more in a “duh” context. Ex.: It’s cold out so obvi I’m wearing my Uggs.

4 Final consonants are often repeated in text to add emphasis to or draw out a word, as one would in speech.

5 Bach (abbrv): an abbreviation for ABC’s The Bachelor

6 Lit: I honestly have no idea what this means. Or why people say it.

7 Let’s be honest replaces the fo’ real of the mid to late nineties.

8 On principle, millennials don’t believe in correct grammar. Adding the -ly would take ~*way*~ too long to type.

9 Perf (abbrv): an abbreviation of perfect; often used sarcastically

10 tbh (abbrv): an abbreviation for to be honest; generally used when there is no need to state that one is, in fact, being honest Ex.: I’m really happy right now tbh.

11 Also + [-ing verb]: mostly used before a sentence that has little to do with the previous sentence, thus rendering the dictionary definition (in addition to) as obsolete; assumed that the reader will mentally add the I am; yet another way to spare one’s thumbs from the painstaking task of texting a complete sentence Ex.: Texting language will soon replace standard English grammar. Also doubting you’re actually reading these endnotes.

12 rn (abbrv): short for right now

13 A common farewell wish to close group of friends. No idea how this one came about, tbh.

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