>>> The Rollercoaster of Drama
By staff writer Simonne Cullen
December 19, 2004

If you're happy finals are over clap your hands (clap clap)
If you're happy it's winner break time clap your hands (clap clap)
If you're happy and you know then your face will surely show it.
If you're happy because you get to spend the next three weeks away from your drinking buddies, listening to your parents yell at you for not doing chores, cooking for yourself and helping grandma find her dentures, then clap your hands. (silence)

Welcome home everybody! Yes, your roommate was getting on your nerves. Yes, you were homesick. Yes you couldn't concentrate all finals week because all you could think about was going home and playing with your dog. Finally you get to sleep in your own bed and watch whatever the hell you want to on TV whenever you want to—hello Law and Order marathon, where have you been all my life? No more deadlines. No more late nights at the library. No more classes. No more early mornings. No more crap food. It's winter vacation! You have all the time in the world just for you.

Or so you naively thought.

Just when you finally believe you get to take a break from college and rest up, you find out that someone (your mom) has already made some winter plans for you. It's bad enough to have your whole biological clock thrown off—one o'clock on a Monday while your whole family is passed out like a festive holiday Yuletide log. There you are, snugly tucked in your covers, eyes wide open, and alert to every noise imaginable. “What's wrong with me?” you ask yourself, “Why aren't I sleeping soundly?” I'll tell you why. What would you normally be doing at this time? Drinking late or studying early, that's what. Now all you can do is click click click the channels and find out that the Law and Order marathon is the only good sitcom on—possibly all freaking week long—and all you want to do is just hang out with your friends and drink dammit. Although you just could take a shot by yourself every time those “dun dun” Law and Order sounds come on. And by shot I don't mean tequila I mean Nyquil. It's the only way to get to bed before 2.

By the time you're a senior the number of high school friends has dwindled considerably. There's usually between four and six you still contact, but some aren't friends with each other anymore so you can only hang out with them three at a time. All guys do is regale about the good times in high school over a couple pitchers of beer, and then tell funny stories about flooding the dorm in college. It's probably the only time I'll ever wish I was a guy. Ever. Because penises are ugly.

Girls are different. Girls judge. There's always one girl in the high school group who hasn't hooked up with more than one guy while in college and she always turns to what's left of her high school friends with a smart aleck little smirk when she's asks, “So did you sleep with him??” And you just want to drop kick her. But instead you swallow your food, or if you're lucky, the rest of your martini, smile and say, “Yes I did. Casual sex is so amazing. You have no idea what your missing. It's sad really…one man your whole college life. Well, every woman makes her bed—actually I never make my bed I just roll out, put on my clothes and leave. It's a lot less work in the long run. Speaking of long term relationships are you pregnant? It looks like you gained a little in the tummy.” If you're a bitch and you know it rub her belly. (rub rub)

Then when you do get with your college friends it's this huge process that involves so much meticulous planning. Six of us live in the suburbs and two of us live in the city. These three have cars. These two can take a bus. These two a train. This one's mom can drop her off on the way to work in the city. And this one who lives near the border of Indiana needs to be picked up. Can we all rendezvous in the city? No, too expensive to park. Fine, let's go meet at this suburban mall. That one is way too crowded. Well what about this outlet store near Indiana? It's better. But it doesn't have a food court. But does it have a Starbucks? Hey here's an idea. I'll see all of you in two weeks when second term begins. How about that? Does that sound good? Does that work for everyone's schedule? Yes. Yes it does. Great, see you in two weeks you assholes. God Law and Order is so much more dependable than you people.

Have you seen those ads on TV for that little robot that cleans the floor? Roomba is what it's called. Well my dad got my mom that for Christmas. Which, like every other expensive present, we opened right when it arrived from the UPS man, who might I add is never hot in real life. And this thing is SOOOO cool. I am deliberately dropping cheerios on the floor just to watch it suck them up. Lately my dad and I have been racing Roomba against our dog to see who can get to the cheerios the fastest. We have the runners start on the opposite side of the room because when we started them side by side the dog got scared and ran for cover…and normally I would be ashamed of having a scared dog, but one day Roomba began following me around the kitchen and I freaked out and ran for cover too. On the top of the couch. Next to mom. Who sadly was not watching Law and Order.

Moms are great. We all miss our mothers when we're away at school. But after a while she starts noticing how you're not doing anything. And when you wake up at noon she's left a list of chores for you to do while she's at work. 1. Get a job. 2. Do the dishes. 3. Dump the garbage. 4. Watch your siblings. 5. Stop making Roomba do all the work. When she comes home it's all criticism. “You didn't put another garbage bag in the trash bin! Where are you sisters? There are spots on this dishes!” But the floor is amazingly clean. Where's Roomba? What a good little robot. You appear, she gives you a once over then it's “Have you showered today? You have to do something about that hair. That make-up is too dark for your face. You need to moisturize. There's a blackhead on your cheek let me pick it!” And all you can do is silently pray Roomba eats her shoes right from under her.

Does your school send you report cards in the mail. Mine does. Do you get your report card the day before Christmas? I have. Has it affected your mother's emotional health? Three years running baby. Then you have to hear, “You're so smart. You always guess the killer 15 minutes into Law and Order how come you couldn't pull better than a B- in History of the modern world? Don't you live in the modern world? How hard could it be? Oooh baby it looks like you're getting a zit on your forehead. Go put some of that stuff the doctor prescribed you on it before it blows up.” Obviously home will never compare to your college home so I'll finish this article off with a quick couple of things I've been thinking about lately.

Here is what I miss about college during break:

1. My friends. It's amazing how much everyone gets on your nerves by the end of the term, but two days at home and you're calling them up, catching up on what you've been doing the past two days. And every other sentence is “Can't wait to get back to see you. I miss you so much!”

2. Safety bars. Big city bars don't care about you as much at the ones in your school's domain. In fact, I've learned that big city bars could care less about you. Anyone charging you seven bucks for a Miller Lite obviously wants your money, not your company. The kick you out and leave you there broke on the cold city streets, whereas at school even though they may kick you out you'll at least find someone to bum a ride from. Instead of being the bum.

And finally, here's what I don't miss:

1. The two girls talking rather loudly I might add about yeast infections at the hockey game. Save your UTI history for those who care ladies. You made my ears bleed.

2. The incessant overly dramatic panicking about the MCATs LSATs and GREs. My God people, is it so much to ask that you try not to freak out about a test that will only determine the grad school you go to and that will decide the rest of your life. Seriously, pipe the fuck down. I can't hear what's going on in Law and Order.