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Kids on College Break

Is anybody else who had a teenager come home for Christmas/winter break concerned about how much they’re able to eat or sleep? Did they just stay awake and survive on coffee and Junior Mints the whole semester? If your college child wakes up before 9, parents are quick to ask, “Is everything ok? Why are you up so early? Are you sick?” If you think your high schooler can sleep, just wait. It’s almost like they are solar panels, soaking up all the sleep they can now so that they can stay awake for the next 4 months straight. I don’t think it works that way, but what do I know. Feeding your college student during break is extremely challenging too, because they just came from an extensive cafeteria with multiple chefs and a smorgasbord buffet of choices…way moreso than what most restaurants offer. There’s a lot of special diets kids are on, so college cafs have a vegan section, gluten free area, salad bars with a bazillion options, burger station, pizza turntables, a deli to rival your best grocery in your town, foods that start with the letter A, foods that rhyme with the word car, ice cream stations, Starbucks, desserts from every culture on the planet so nobody feels left out, plus multiple entrees that make your dinners look like amateur hour. Then at college they grab a clean cup from an endless stack available (because someone is paid to wash dishes there) and then walk towards a rainbow of colored drinks with pretty little inviting pictures at the dispensary just waiting to entice any thirsty student. Do you know what we have to drink at our house mid break? A milk carton someone put away empty to make it look like a viable option because the extra step to throw it in the recycle bin was just too far for someone, leftover eggnog that’s long expired from Christmas because it was too heartbreaking to toss and realize we didn’t drink our money’s worth out of that, and some iced tea that maybe could fill a thimble if you had the patience to get every last drop. We can’t seem to keep up with whoever is so thirsty they should probably be hooked up to an iv it’s so concerning. The rest of the fridge is filled with leftovers the kids suddenly now hate, and lost hopes and dreams from the healthy salad drawer everyone now turns their nose at. So about every two hours college parents across the lands hear, “MOM!! There’s nothing to eat!!!” Oh really? Then why is the pantry filled to capacity? Pretty sure that’s food in there, it’s just in its native state with directions on each product of how to prepare said food since most kids don’t seem to like the multiple meals you’ve prepared and stored in the fridge. One year my son came home, opened the fridge door, yelled WOW!!!, then proceeded to take a picture to send to his roommates with the caption, “This is what a fridge should look like,” because their fridge only had a bottle of ketchup and an expired yogurt in it. That’s it. Plus college apartment fridges are dirty. The kind of dirty that can’t come clean….ever. The kind where you should say a prayer over it and throw it out to put it out of its misery after all the horror and neglect it’s been through; it’s the only humane thing to do for it at that point. But we’re the ones with nothing to eat. Good luck to all the students returning to college, don’t forget to eat and sleep please!!

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