I seriously feel like Chicken Little who goes around saying, “The sky is falling. The sky is falling.” But I’m more like Chicken Little version with her head chopped off because I’m saying, “The students are coming. The students are coming – in DROVES!”
It’s not like I’ve never lived in a college town. Hello! Lived in Walla Walla, WA which had three higher education facilities within 10 miles (Whitman College, Walla Walla Community College, and Walla Walla College); I’ve lived in Lewiston, ID which is home to Lewis-Clark State College; although I didn’t live in Rexburg, I attended Brigham Young University–Idaho (BYU–I) for three years; and now I reside in Moscow, ID. This little “hamlet” has a population of around 25,000, but explodes to 35,000+ when school starts in the fall…which would be in the next week. What’s really scary is that the real influx of students won't begin until this weekend.
This week is all about the athletes moving in and it’s “rush” week for the fraternities and sororities – both of which are difficult for me to understand. BYU–I didn’t have either one of these organizations. There were no school sports, but they had an extensive intramural program that included sports such as rugby, hocky, water polo, football, baseball, volleyball, track, etc. They kinda run the whole gamut of activities, both competitive and non-competitive. So during my undergrad it really didn’t matter if you were an “athlete” or anything. Who cares if you’re the team quarterback – odds are there are three others in the class with you. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for the athletes at U of I. I’m not sure if it’s the athletes, other students, or what, but those that are on teams seem to be “above” the other students. Seriously? As a teacher I don’t care how many yards you rushed in the last game, your RBI average, or whether you set a PR or any kind of record in your last race. I just care about whether or not you did your homework – and did it well.
And the Greek system? I am REALLY too old for this. The kids are getting younger, the clothes smaller and the attitudes bigger. Again, the condescending attitude these 18 year old girls with their glittery eye shadow, short skirts, and stiletto heels project to everyone is quite laughable. Sometimes I secretly wish a particular one or two of the more uppity pledges were in my class so I could knock them down a peg or two.
Latent hostilities? It’s possible, but here’s a bit of a disclaimer. Although I may rant and rave against the few who taint the organizations I’ve spewed about above, some of my favorite students have been members of an athletic team as well as various frats and sororities. These organizations actually stay on top of their members so the grades don't slip and GPAs lower -- for the most part. So I think this grumpy mood is just more of a realization that summer is coming to an end and school is starting up again.
But with that realization is the acknowledgement that I really feel like I’m getting too old for this. I’m tired. Tired of pulling all-nighters to meet a paper deadline (although this can also happen in the business world); tired of buying books and paying tuition; tired of attending classes with teenagers; tired of moving every couple of years and renting an apartment; and I think I’m just tired of the student lifestyle as a whole. I’m ready to re-enter the “adult” world.
Whew! Typing all of that made me tired as well. It’s 7PM. Doesn’t that mean it’s time for this old woman to go to bed?