Words by Kiana Duncan

In lieu of Halloween, I think an important topic to discuss is scary times at college. Sometimes, I think about everything I thought was scary when I was little, and it seems ironic now. For example, naps, eating foods I didn’t like and monsters under my bed. Now, I would kill for a nap (literally, I am running on no sleep). I will eat anything. The thought of how picky I used to be makes me laugh. You could now feed me three-day-old chicken tenders, and I’d probably thank you. Monsters under my bed are nothing compared to roommates. It’s funny how if I saw someone scary-looking in a store when I was little, I’d run to my mom. Now, I am the scary-looking thing in stores, and I’m actively avoiding my parents.

However, those aren’t the scary things I’m talking about. Once you see this, you’re going to understand.

Doing your own laundry. I swear to God, if one more person tells me they did theirs already while they were home, I’m going to flip a table. Some of us had a little trouble finding where the detergent went. FIGHT ME.

Dealing with car problems by yourself. You know, just casually rolling along when you realize that janky rattling noise your 10-year-old car is making probably isn’t healthy. However, I do have a tip: If you turn your music up loud enough, you can’t hear it anymore. Problem solved.

Icebreakers. Every single RA and teacher must have done their training in the pits of hell, because I have never heard about any student ever saying “Boy, revealing useless and personal information about myself to strangers who won’t remember was a whole lot of fun, mister!”

Dealing with the repercussions of your overeating. Your mom isn’t there to take you jeans shopping when those soft pretzels start catching up with you, and she isn’t there to point out when your thunder thighs are rubbing together.

Learning how to use machines at the gym. Three out of four dentists would recommend never going to the gym. I made that up. But feel free to use it. Others include “I’m too busy washing my cat” and “I’m gluten-free.” Those aren’t true, but they seem to get me out of a lot of things. If you look confident doing the wrong thing on a machine, maybe no one will notice your head is where your crotch is supposed to be.

Sneaking alcohol (or being with someone who is) past RAs and security. OK, sure, we’re all going to stop making eye contact and pretend we haven’t done it. We know there’s nothing they can actually do to stop us yet, somehow, the glass clinking in my bookbag is making me think otherwise.

If you’re in certain classes, interviewing someone for the first time. All the JMC students just went “YAAAS” because let me tell you, it’s terrifying and awkward. Like my eighth grade pictures. Can they tell I’m sweating? Am I supposed to write down everything? Was that a weird question? Why are they staring at me? Why is there so much awkward silence?

Making friends all over again. See questions above.

Taking Intro to Human Comm for the first time. I don’t care how much you love public speaking, that class can be terrifying. There’s a whole class dedicated to the No. 1 fear in America.

Getting sick for the first time. Oh God, my mom isn’t here to make sure I don’t die. If I do, my roommate will probably step over me for a week then call the police when I start to smell. Do I take Aleve or ibuprofen? What do you mean they do the same thing? MAYDAY! MAYDAY!

Going on real adult dates. The first thing on your mind is “I met this guy two days ago. He seems cool, but he could be an axe murderer. I’m on a date with an axe murderer. College has changed me.”

Keeping your “college life” separate from your “home life.” Well, we don’t exactly want Aunt Sue finding out what we did two weekends ago. Where am I supposed to put the shot glasses when my dad comes to visit? Does mom still remember when I told her I was straight edge in middle school?

Changing your major. How did I go from Pre-Med to sociology in less than three weeks? Oh my God, I’m going to work at Old Navy for the rest of my life. High school friends are going to come in and buy clothes for their kids and point and laugh at the person who changed his or her major 34 times in college and then dropped out.

Many scary things happen in college, but remember: Dealing with each one puts you one step closer to not getting eaten by your apartment cats in your 20s. Best of luck!