Doing fine without Mom and Dad

Amy Durazo

My friend Tom has a habit of leaving me several phone messages (drunk dials, if you will) on his way home from the bars at night. A few weeks ago, I awoke to a particularly slurred, two-minute long speech about his love for scotch and the joys of being 21 years old. After urging me to call him back, he belted out his new favorite catch phrase: “College, noooo parents.”

Woo-hoo. Isn’t that what we’ve been dreaming about our entire adolescent lives? We fantasize for years about leaving home: new people, new adventures and a new sense of freedom that includes curfew-less nights, coed dorms and fake ID’s. As high school seniors, we anticipated a world full of possibilities and believed that, at college, no matter what we did or where we slept (unless it involved a jail cell), we could flourish successfully without our parents.

As a disgustingly naïve freshman, I actually believed that. If I wanted to eat an entire cheesecake, my stomach would be the only one pissed off. If I wanted to wear Reefs when it was 25 degrees out, my toes would be the only ones to suffer. And if I wanted to date a convicted murderer, then by God, I would date a convicted murderer.

Unfortunately, I was born with a conscience and raised with a sense of morals.I quickly came to the bitter realization that adulthood brings with it a strict sense of responsibility which requires us to be, basically, responsible.

A tiny but commanding voice has been screaming at me for three years now. No, you cannot sleep all day. You must excel in all of your classes or you will never get an internship; if you don’t, you’ll have to work at Wendy’s after you graduate and you will be poor and you will marry a low life. A low life!

Going to college means memorizing every little detail about your life all by yourself, without being nagged and reminded nine times a day.

How will we ever remember to do our laundry before we run out of clean underwear and refill our prescriptions so we don’t die of allergy-related complications? We can’t forget to put gas in our tanks so we don’t get stuck on the side of the road. We must meet with our advisors and remember to what room in SAC our overdue papers should be handed in. What about waking up every day, ironing our clothes, remembering to eat three times a day and putting our pants on the right way?

How will we ever remember?

Pondering the concept of forgetfulness among college students, my mind collides with a brick wall: finals week is rapidly approaching. I painfully reminisce about the numerous times in previous years when I forgot to breathe while cramming for tests I honestly believed I had no chance in hell of passing and later trying to differentiate between Aristotle’s and Socrates’s beliefs. Oh gosh. Oh gosh.

One mild panic attack later, I relieve myself of a dizzy spell and grab my phone, quickly dialing my home phone number – 5-2-0-2-9-9…and viciously slam it down before the call connects. No way. I am a big girl, I do not need anyone to tell me that I am not going to fail out of college and that everything is going to be okay.

I don’t need them. I already know how to pump my own gas, which means I have more skills than the entire population of New Jersey. I know how to cook steak and make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and I wash my face and hands regularly. I babysit for four little boys, which is similar to watching over four volcanoes on the verge of eruption and I know how to work a cash register and fold clothes. I can definitely get through this week.

I calmly sit down to conquer my Irish Renaissance Literature essay test before attempting to study for the rest of my exams later on in the week. Opening an enormous volume of poems by Seamus Heaney, one of many books that I will be consulting in order to strengthen and prove my thesis statement, I immediately slash a stinging, deep, screamingly painful paper cut through my thumb. Owww…I want my mom.