Sure, college costs a lot more than it did 30 years ago. And the ubiquitous cell phone means that one stupid thing that one student did that one night can be captured and broadcast for all to see. But that doesn’t mean today’s parents still don’t get a little jealous thinking about how good their college kids have it these days. There are so many things their children do that they wish they could have done in their day.
1. Have a meal plan that includes dining dollars for places like Starbucks and Subway.
Seriously? Our snack options were limited to scraping up some quarters, going to the basement of our dorm and hoping the vending machine hadn’t run out of M&M’s.
2. Use spellcheck.
Flipping through a dictionary is only helpful if you know that you don’t actually know how many m’s are in “accommodate.”
3. Say, “Oh, sorry, my phone died,” when your mom asks why you didn’t answer your phone.
When she called you at 9 a.m. on a Sunday (when you should have been in your dorm room sleeping, alone). Because saying, “Oh, I was at the library,” only works so many times. But every mother believes that her irresponsible child will forget to charge her phone no matter how many times she hears the excuse.
4. Register for classes over the internet.
My generation had to stand in line at the registrar’s office, only to find out an hour later that every class on our carefully crafted schedule was closed.
5. Take a picture of your classmate’s notes with your cell phone.
Because the old way was just way too involved. First, you had to have to have a friend in the class, because no random person was going to trust you with their notes. Then, you had to copy the notes by hand or go to the library to use the only copying machine on campus. Then, you had to actually remember to return the notes or risk losing a perfectly good friendship.
6. Ask someone out via text message.
No nervous phone calls or (gasp!) actually asking the object of your desire out in person.
7. Break up with someone via text message.
You know exactly what you want to say, and you say it. You don’t have to look into her eyes. You don’t have to see her cry. And if she keeps asking you questions like, “Why? Why would you do this to me?” You can just block her.
8. Swipe right.
Ah, Tinder! It so beats, “Cheryl heard Dave and Tom talking, and she said that Tom said that he thinks you’re cute!” And then you have to engage in a 15-minute discussion to figure out who the hell Tom is, and then you’re still not sure what he looks like.
9. Log into your parents’ account to watch Netflix.
If we wanted to watch a movie, we had to walk to the one movie theater near campus to see the one movie that was playing that week. And we had to pay for it with our own money.
10. Celebrate the end of the semester by having your coolest professor join you at the bar.
And buy your whole class several pitchers of beer. … Oh, wait. That’s not you. That was me. Your professors have way too many rules to do something like that. My bad.