Let’s take a minute and just reminisce about the good ole days of kindergarten. Ahhhh, the smell of fresh crayons and play-doh, arts and crafts, recess, and snack time. Those were the days, weren’t they? Well I’m happy to inform you those days aren’t over yet and, although you’re a few semesters into college by now, you’ve just entered kindergarten round 2: collegegarten! (No? That doesn’t sound good, does it? Oh well, you try to think of something better!)
Now hear me out, what is the purpose of kindergarten? According to the Oxford dictionary, its purpose is to prepare children for the first grade. Now let’s compare that to the purpose of college which is to prepare young adults for careers and life! BOOM! Mind explosion!
But that’s not the only similarity between the two, there are in fact four I intend to make known to everyone and explain why they’re necessary.
1. You Don’t Have a Full Day of Class
Now this may not be true for everyone but when I was in kindergarten we only had half days and I was in the afternoon class, which meant I got to sleep in! And what did I do today? Oh yes, I didn’t have class until 11:00 this morning so I got to sleep in!
This is often typical of many college students schedules, whether they schedule for all early morning classes (Props to you) or they schedule all afternoon classes hardly any college student has a full day of class. Why is this necessary? In kindergarten it was necessary because they believed we would be overwhelmed by a full day of class away from home. Is that any different from college?
No! College classes are exceptionally more difficult from kindergarten ones, needless to say, and if we have a solid full day of classes of that caliber we would be a) thoroughly overwhelmed, and b) never get our work done. We need to only have class a few hours a day because otherwise we will just be balls of stress ready to erupt.
2. You Get Nap Time
Oh yes, it does exist again. Remember in high school when you would be so tired and thought to yourself, “I wish I could have back all those naps I took advantage of when I was younger.” Well now’s your chance!
This doesn’t mean you can sleep an entire day away, wake up, see it’s midnight and say, “Well tomorrow’s a new day.” No, bad collegegartener! This means you have the opportunity to take a nap if you need it and this means a 10-20 minute nap. The science doesn’t lie. The benefits behind a nap include improved alertness, performance, and reduced mistakes.
Most young adults need, on average, 7-9 hours of sleep a night and since you’re all like me you don’t always get this. Although I thoroughly promote a hardy college-try at getting those hours, if you feel the need for a nap sinking in it is in your mental states best interests to do so.
3. You Cry Over Seemingly Unimportant Things
Less of a positive link between the two but still relevant. In kindergarten I’m sure everyone has a story about when you cried for a silly reason. For me it was when a kid stole my hiding spot in hide-n-seek. (Okay, I didn’t cry, I punched him in the face, but let it be known I have not been in a fight since!)
Collegegarten can be an emotional time, you’re away from your family for an extended period of time and stress levels often boil to new extremes. I don’t believe one exam makes or breaks your college career but even I often stress over them because I get the idea in my head that it will determine my true intelligence.
Sometimes stress can get so high you will cry because your roommate used your white out or because somebody brought you a doughnut (story of my life). Crying not only helps deal with stress, but it helps you connect with others, be more creative, and flush out toxins.
4. There is Vomit and Bodily Fluids
I hardly ever get throw-up-have-to-stay-home sick but one of my favorite stories to lord over my mom is when I was in kindergarten. I told her I wasn’t feeling good all morning and right before she took me in. We were having a field trip that day so her response was, “It’s just nerves, you’ll be fine.” Well, I got to school, we got in line for the bus, and suddenly there was puke on my shoes and I was being escorted to the nurse. I went home, HA! But things don’t necessarily change in collegegarten.
I have two roommates in a frat and every time I visit with them I’m always afraid I’m going to lose my shoes because they’re stuck to the floor from who knows what! When I was an RA the gentlemen in the dorm had a problem with helping the waterfall find the lake…(there was urine on the seat and floors).
My point is don’t expect everything to be nice and clean like it is at home. You’re sharing a space with well over 100 students at a time and you will encounter these gross things. Come mentally prepared, bring flip-flops for the shower, and always, ALWAYS check the toilet seat and area before using it.
(There isn’t any necessary reason behind this point, people are just gross and act like 5 year-olds some times)
Although kindergarten was a time of simplicity, play time, and arts and crafts, college still requires focus and hard work but you should never be afraid to pick up a crayon every now and then to color and let your imagination run wild like you were 5.