College is almost over for the semester.

College is yet another floor-meeting in advance of everyone’s departure.

College is a $200 textbook on your Amazon wishlist.

College is your laundry, dumped unceremoniously on top of the dryer by some other impatient soul.

College is hitting “submit” on your registration for next semester’s classes and being greeted by a sea of error messages demanding prerequisite waivers and professors’ permission. You sit in resigned contemplation for a few minutes, robotically typing out an email to your advisor. Your friend is having a breakdown in the corner. You fix everything, get the schedule you originally wanted, but only after six hours of chasing down lab instructors in the bowels of buildings you’ve barely seen before and listening to one of your professors debate with the registrar over the phone.

College is cleaning your side of the room in less than three minutes.

College is being knee deep in the arXiv at 9:00 PM on a Friday night.

College is telling people where you’re from over and over and over because that’s the only thing anyone can ever think of to ask.

College is a list of errands that never ends.

College is the slow decline of your plants’ health because the sun never shines where you live.

College is sprinting down four flights of stairs at two in the morning because there’s enough snow on the ground to coat the grass and you and your friends are slip-sliding across the quad, screaming, Snapchatting, losing your keys and finding them again amidst bouts of laughter. A guy says, “Are you from up north or something? Jesus,” because he’s all wrapped up in a parka and long pants to your boots and a hoodie. Someone sneaks up behind him and drops a handful of snow down his neck. He screams as loud as you did earlier. Everything is a mess. Introductions are made and forgotten, possessions not secure in zippered pockets are claimed by the elements, cars literally slow down as they go by because who are these fools, floundering in an inch of snow at such an ungodly hour? Students. Of course.

College is your door propped open for the first month just like you’ve heard it’s supposed to be. No one comes in except for your roommate, who shuts it immediately and locks it behind her.

College is getting off at the wrong bus stop.

College is not what you were told it would be. It’s been exactly what you make of it, no more, no less. ♦