After spending only 12 weeks in college, I presumed that I had not changed much from the person I was in high school. However, upon returning home for winter break, I was surprised by all of the habits I developed that clash with my previous life at home. The following list outlines some of my largest changes in behavior.
Upon returning home, I immediately went to the kitchen for a snack only to find that my go-to Stacy’s parmesan pita chips were nowhere in sight. There were no white cheddar Cheez-Its in the house either. With growing hunger, I realized that I had become dependent on the snacks available to me at Munger. I also missed my typical breakfast bagel and smoothie the following morning. Luckily, a quick trip to the grocery store was enough to resolve all of my dietary woes, but the realization that my diet was now so different from my family’s was surprising.
Not only did I become accustomed to the food in the dining halls and snacks in my dorm room as opposed to the food in my kitchen at home, but I also developed the habits of eating at different times in college than I did at home. In college, I became accustomed to eating dinner at 5 p.m. instead of at 8 p.m. like I did in high school and snacking around 1 a.m. because of the glorious late night dining options on campus. To the dismay of the rest of my family, I also ate breakfast around 1pm.
Surprisingly, I get more sleep in college than I did at home. And I, for one, am extremely grateful to be rid of the exhausting high school routine that only allowed for an average of six hours of sleep each night. In college, I have the luxury of my earliest classes starting at 9am, several hours later than the 6:30 a.m. mornings in high school. My college routine also left me staying awake until 2 or 3 a.m. most nights, well past the rest of my family. Additionally, I developed the habit of taking regular naps in the afternoon between classes, a luxury that I could not afford during high school. Although my parents may complain that I sleep in too late (note the 1 p.m. breakfast in the previous section), I feel like my sleep routine in college is much healthier than it was in high school because I am more well-rested.
I think that the combination of extreme laziness and well… okay yeah just extreme laziness caused me to develop uhm… let’s say less than ideal habits regarding keeping a clean living space. I’m not a slob per say, but my room is definitely less organized than it was in high school. At home, I quickly realized that I could not treat my room like my dorm room and leave dirty dishes on my desk and dirty clothes on the floor.
Apparently, Stanford slang is weird. After spending a quarter on the Farm, I have incorporated terms like IntroSem, FloMo and CoHo into my vocabulary to the point where it was as if I was speaking a new language to my family over the break. In the middle of stories, they constantly stopped me to explain the difference between an IntroSem and an introductory class, the role of the Dollies and the meaning of Cardinal Nights. Although I don’t mind taking the time to share and explain Stanford’s culture to my family, after arriving back on campus, I feel not only relieved but also liberated to speak without having to explain everything I say.
One of the biggest differences between living at home and living in college is that now, the only person I’m really accountable for and accountable to is me. Thus, over winter break, I sometimes forgot to tell my parents if I was going to meet up with some friends or go out to eat because I was so used to leaving whenever I wanted to at school.
Although these college habits may seem small and insignificant, they really convey the juxtaposition between who I was and who I am becoming. Noticing the changes between my daily life in college and my daily routine in high school over winter break made me grateful to be more in control over my life.
Contact Phoebe Quinton at pquinton ‘at’ stanford.edu.