There are dozens of things that we did in college that we’ll likely never do again: study for finals, wear tank tops on weekdays, do big boy math, go to a library. Dozens. But that stuff is relatively boring. There are a few things, however, that I haven’t done since I graduated, and I would kind of like to have these things back in my life.
1. Played [Fill In The Blank Sport]
For me, it’s basketball and tennis. Golf is basically the only athletic activity I do on any sort of regular basis (and by regular basis, I mean almost never). As for the other two, I’m handicapped due to a lack of available places to play. You’d think a large, metropolitan area would have decent tennis and basketball courts to use, but the truth is, you basically have to choose between paying $50 a month at a gym that has a court or going to a concrete court that has goals with double rims and no nets. And tennis? Forget about it. We never realized how spoiled we were to have dozens of open courts to use whenever we wanted. Hell, in college, I played half my pickup games on the main court at the coliseum. Now I’m lucky if I can find a court that doesn’t look like it hasn’t been repaired since the ‘94 Northridge Earthquake.
2. Pulled A Real Prank
Pranks that occur in the office do not count as real pranks. There are pranks from “The Office,” and there are your office pranks. Your pranks are not real pranks. I’m talking about the elaborate shit you used to pull off, especially during your freshman year, when you had hours upon hours in the dorm to think up ridiculous ideas. For instance, my freshman year, my roommate and I went to every single bathroom in our building, took down the shower curtains, hid them in our room, and left a note in each bathroom that said, “Due to increasing reports of students masturbating and urinating in the showers, curtains will no longer be available during showering. Please remember that shower curtains are a privilege, not a right.” Then we signed it with our dorm director’s name.
We thought everyone would walk in the next day, get the joke, and go on his way. Instead, most guys took it seriously. Some guys didn’t really care, and showered anyway (read: everyone who played team sports in high school). But a lot of guys complained to professors and administration. There were several professors outraged about the “invasion of privacy” implications. My roommate and I had always planned on getting caught, because we knew the dorms had security cameras, so we just turned ourselves in. We ended up having to go to three separate hearings with Judicial Affairs, and ultimately, we met with the dean of students. We were placed on disciplinary probation for a year and banned from participating in all extracurricular university activities, including intramurals (I just signed up under the name of another guy who preferred Warcraft to sports). It wasn’t until the next year that we found out the cameras weren’t even working that night, and we had actually gotten away with the whole thing until we gave ourselves up. Fuck.
That was only the beginning of my four-year-long career as a semi-professional practical jokester. But in the last few years, pranks have been distinctly absent from my life. A lot of it has to do with a lack of targets. Everyone living in my apartment understands that there is an unspoken prank truce between us, mostly because we’re all equally terrified of what it could escalate to. Someday, though, when I have the kind of disposable income I was promised would come with adulthood, I’ll bring back the large scale prank. And it will be glorious.
3. Played Guitar
Even before Bluto smashed some cheesedick’s guitar on the stairs of the Delta house, guys in college have tried to use guitars to pick up women. For many college males from 1994 until now, the narrative is the same. Arrive at college, hear Dave Matthews for the first time, buy a guitar, learn just enough Dave songs to “impress women,” start a band that never plays a single show, graduate college, never pick up the guitar again. I won’t pretend I didn’t get sucked into the vortex. Don’t get me wrong–I still love DMB, and I’ll debate with Dave haters any day of the week. I didn’t have enough room in my car to fit either of my guitars when I moved, so now the only times I ever play are at someone else’s apartment when I see the guitar, pick it up, play the few songs I can remember, and then set it down because my callouses are gone and my poor little fingers hurt. I’m a manly man.
4. Shotgunned A Beer
There are a lot of drinking activities associated with college in which I still partake, such as beer pong, card games, and flip cup. But shotgunning has really disappeared from my life. I’m not totally sure how I feel about that. On one hand, I miss it because it’s such a great communal activity for guys. It’s competitive, it’s fun, it gets you drunk, and it allows you to make fun of your friends who suck. On the other hand, the act of cutting a hole in the bottom of a beer can with a knife and then sucking beer as fast as possible out of a jagged metal hole seems so…Cro-Magnon? At the very least, it’s not really an activity tailor-made for people who claim to be “adults.” I do have a couple of bachelor parties coming up later this year, and I think that’ll be the time to resurrect the shotgun, if only for a weekend. Just because you’re grown up doesn’t mean you can’t devolve every now and then.