Considering I’m a junior, I should probably be beyond the post-break Trojan culture shock I experience whenever I return to campus. After three straight weeks of sleeping for between ten and fifteen (mmm, REM) hours per night, forcing my dog to cuddle with me, and playing Bejeweled Blitz until I get a new high score (282,850!!!), it has been very difficult for me to come to terms with the impending all-nighters, no dogs (or, on second thought, humans) to force-cuddle, and my imminent loss of skill at Bejeweled Blitz. Beyond my personal psuedo-woes, in less than a month I managed to forget the following (good and bad) about life at USC:

1. How inept USC students are at biking/longboarding/skateboarding

You’d think that fairly to highly intelligent people between the ages of 18 (or 17, I see you RHP students) and 22 would be able to master the art of riding a bike and/or longboard. Alas, this has never proved to be the case with USC students. Whenever I see someone on a longboard, I cower in fear.

Pro tips: when someone else is moving toward you, that does NOT mean you should continue directly toward them at full force. Also, texting and biking should be reserved for no one ever.

 2. The Hunger Games vibe I get whenever I try to cross at Jefferson & Hoover. 

This is me like twice a day. This is me twice a day, minus the looking like Jennifer Lawrence/forest part.

The sole benefit of everyone’s ineptitude at riding bikes/longboards/etc. is that it makes me feel like I’m in the scene in The Hunger Games where they first run into the arena whenever I try to cross the street. In these extremely stressful street-crossing moments, I take a couple of seconds to ponder my mortality and what the soundtrack to my action-movie life would be. (It would similar to this, in case you were wondering).

Pro tips: Survive the crosswalk. Listen to John Williams more often.

3. How long it takes to get a cup of coffee on campus and how many people you’ll run into while attempting to get said cup of coffee. 

It takes anywhere between two minutes and half an hour. If you are me (you’re probably not), you’ll run into three people you like running into, that one guy you’ve been harboring a crush on since he said something smart in class three years ago (and who saw you trip over your own feet on the stairs last semester), and the one person you were dead-set on avoiding through May 2014 (and beyond).

Pro tips: make coffee at home, stop crushing on so many guys, and stop tripping over your own feet.

 4. Scruff

This is what came up when I Googled "scruffy hipster" and I think the Internet gods intended for me to use this picture. This is what came up when I Googled “scruffy hipster” and I think the Internet gods intended for me to use this picture, save it on my computer, and pretend this man is my future husband.

I am not sure whether it’s because the only place I’ve been post-break is the film school (and scruff seems to be trendier there than say, Dornsife) or because it’s weirdly cold in LA or because men have finally accepted that scruff is very aesthetically pleasing to girls who force-cuddle their pets (HI!) or because they’re too lazy to shave, but the number of scruffy faces I saw this week almost made me forget about sleeping/my Netflix queue. MOVEMBER IS OVER AND NORMAL FACIAL HAIR IS BACK! Woooohooooo!

Pro tips: Enjoy scruff season while you can because before you know it, these wonderful men will rediscover their damn razors. Also, stop staring at beards. It’s weird.

5. How to speak to non-familial humans.

I spent literally every moment of winter break with my family (they moved after I graduated from high school, I know no one there except them, I never leave the house, I don’t care, etc.). I forgot what people my age look like (youthful! occasional pimples! yoga pants!) let alone act like. I forgot that people our age flirt and do the small talk thing and don’t say stuff like, “Hey Mom, I’ve been wearing the same sweatpants for four days straight! High-five!”

Pro tip: Practice speaking to twenty-somethings in the mirror over breaks. (Please ignore this tip).

6. Drunk people are very noisy.

THIS IS WHAT SOME OF YOU ARE LIKE. THIS IS WHAT SOME OF YOU ARE LIKE.

I don’t know when the cast of Jersey Shore relocated to my apartment building, but the first week back has brought at least four blood-curdling shouting matches about “what you texted me!!!” and “how you, are like, so WRONG!!!” at like 4am. I forgot not only that many people in college are drunk 75% of the time, but that 75% of drunk people are not the fun-drunks (IF YOU CRY WHEN YOU’RE DRUNK, YOU’RE NOT A FUN DRUNK). Maybe James Franco is filming a new reality series about college life downstairs. I don’t know. Alternatively, I may have just became an old woman over break and cannot tolerate the yelling matches anymore. 

Pro tips: Become a fun drunk, stop yelling.

7. No one cares about my dog.

A diva is a female version of a hustla. My dog is such a hustla. A diva is a female version of a hustla. My dog is such a hustla.

My dog and I spent a lot of time together over break. We watched TV together. I made her practice shaking my hand, rolling over, etc. I slipped her a lot of food under the table (especially when we were at my grandma’s house). And I know nobody cares except for me.

Pro tip: Stop talking about your dog (unless you’re talking to me).

8. People can see you.

I'M SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS SYLLABUS, CAN'T YOU TELL PROFESSOR? I’M SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS SYLLABUS, CAN’T YOU TELL PROFESSOR?

Here’s the thing about spending three weeks alone/with people who are biologically required to care about you: you forget that people can actually see your facial expressions.

Pro tips: Internalize those eyerolls/your blatant staring at all that glorious scruff.

9. Sometimes California looks like this.

This is from USC's Catalina campus. USC does, in fact, have a campus on Catalina. Get on that. This is from USC’s Catalina campus. USC does, in fact, have a campus on Catalina. Get on that. Also from the Catalina campus, again, get on that. Also from the Catalina campus, again, get on that.

 

And I’m glad to be back, despite my imminent injuries from the crazy people crossing Jefferson/Hoover.