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October 8, 2011

On The Go: College is great, except on Laundry Day


Daily Star

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I was so not prepared for this.

That was my first thought when I held up my once beloved black shirt, the one with the white and gray lace, and stared with shock and horror at the disaster it had become.

I'll take you back to the beginning.

I've been at college for a full month now. And I suppose I shouldn't have been so surprised at what a transition it has been, seeing as everyone and anyone who spoke to me in the two months before I left for school told me that very thing. I ended up being one of the last of my friends to leave for college, and had to listen to all of the stories of their awkward first weeks. Not exactly comforting.

But as with everything else, you can't judge how your experience will be depending on the reports of others. You have to live out your awkward first week yourself.

And live it I have.

I've made all of the typical freshmen mistakes _ gone in the wrong classroom, gotten lost in the buildings, lost my room keys, tripped up flights of stairs during rush hour (although this could be attributed to my chronic clumsiness). However, my school happens to be in a major metropolitan city, so my freshman mistakes also take on a "new girl in town" embarrassment level, leading me to situations wherein I have: gotten lost on the T, lost my shoes and ran barefoot through the middle of a busy intersection, tripped up the stairs (yup, just my clumsiness). However, none of these situations have been as bad as the one I face every Saturday, aka Laundry Day.

Laundry Day. Easily the most dreaded day of my week, and this is including the days with my abhorrent 8 a.m. classes.

Laundry Day sits on my calendar, taunting me, daring me to even try to attempt to complete a basic household chore it knows I can never accomplish.

Laundry Day takes Saturday _ the most glorious day of days _ and stomps all over it. I suppose I could try to do my laundry on another day of the week, but honestly I'm just too busy (read: lazy).

Before I left for school, my mom tried to show me how to do my laundry. I listened to her lesson and watched as she poured odd liquids into the machine and miraculously made the clothes come out clean. I nodded along, lost, and prayed silently to myself that there were distinct step-by-step instructions on the machines at school.

Well, God must have been busy that day because my prayers went horribly, horribly unanswered. Not only did the machines not have easily understood step-by-step instructions, the machines look nothing like the one I have at home, and have buttons labeled with foreign concepts such as "perm. press."

So I sent out an S.O.S. to a friend of mine here who apparently took Laundry as a Second Language in high school, because her clothes always come out intact. So obviously, with her help, my clothes came out better than they ever had, and I learned to love Laundry Day more than any other day of the year _ including most major holidays!

False. My clothes came out just fine, but that's mostly because she took over the laundry process while I huddled in the corner, whimpering. But I put on a brave face, and vowed that next week, I would tackle this on my own.

Well, next week rolled around, and here we are, mourning the loss of my beloved clothes, which will now fit only those of a toddlers' shape and size. I've given them away, and now I'm living in leggings and sweatpants, which if I'm being totally honest, I can't say I mind.

And if I think about this positively, if this is the worst aspect of my college career so far, I don't have much to complain about. I love living here, I've made some great friends, and have already had some unforgettable experiences. I got a great long-term job, and I love earning my own money this way. My classes are exciting and interesting, I'm being challenged more than I ever have, and somehow, I don't mind! If this is going to be how college is all the time, I'll take Laundry Day any day of the week.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to go shopping for a whole new wardrobe.

Adrian Adamo, a 2011 graduate of Oneonta High School, is a freshman at Emerson College in Boston. 'Teen Talk' columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/teentalk.