Elementary school had a lot of things going for it. Maybe the best part, besides recess and pizza Friday’s, was that teachers didn’t expect third-graders to be able to do anything besides spell basic words, write in cursive (both of which aren’t used anymore) and go to the bathroom on their own, so at the beginning of the year, they’d assign essays that could be written in five minutes by even the most hopeless seven-year-old.
But there was something beautiful about those assignments. They were no nonsense. Zero fluff. Cut right to the chase. So I’ve decided to free myself from the stuffiness and expectations of college papers, and write a good ol’ back-to-school essay – just like in elementary school.
What I learned this summer. By Marissa Jones.
1. New York is a place full of dreams, but mostly it’s full of other people
This summer I took my first trip to the Big Apple, and after beginning an internship there, a few things about the legendary city became clear to me. I learned that New Yorkers are stereotypically grumpy and rude out of necessity. There are simply too many people in your way to be nice to any of them. And all of those people that live there? They produce unbelievably large amounts of trash. On garbage day, mountains of people’s belongings were piled on the sidewalk, and, man, they’d throw away anything: lamps, snow sleds, libraries of books, dehumidifiers. A person could furnish an entire apartment from scavenging one street’s garbage.
2. Play nice with others – especially if you’re living with them
As an only child, I’m starting to think I might have missed some vital lessons – like how to share and live with others.
As far as roommates go, I’ve been absolutely spoiled – for the first 18 years of my life, I didn’t have any and my ACU roommate is an absolute gem (I’m talking about you, Sydney Wooton) – until this summer. This summer I got a taste of your run-of-the-mill, perfectly passive aggressive roommate that most people have had to deal with.
Before her, I had never understood how vicious silent battles over the air conditioner thermostat could get, and I was frightened by the anger that filled my heart when every time, without fail, my roommate would leave an empty toilet paper roll on the dispenser. But I soon learned to control my anger as I calmly would replace the toilet paper – which only took five seconds, for goodness sake.
3. A job probably won’t kill me when I grow up
My internship was a 9 to 5, Monday through Friday kind of job. I’ve always suspected a job like that would do me in, but fortunately, I’m made of tougher stuff than I thought. So maybe unemployment isn’t my only option now.
And that’s what I learned this summer.
Mrs. Patterson, if you read this and you’re still teaching, I hope this is A+ work.