Monday, August 24, 2015

Fear Only the Toaster

This time last year, my friend Dorothy was prepping for college while I geared up for senior year. Dorothy was the friend I looked up to as a junior. Part of this was that she was the only reason I passed chemistry. She would've been in AP if it hadn't conflicted with her schedule, so she would spend the period sleeping, reading comics, or talking to me, and somehow got her packets back with 100% scores. In addition to that, she was the kind of person who always had her life together. She got perfect grades but it never stopped her from enjoying her hobbies. She had plenty of friends, especially guy friends, so getting a date was never a problem. She didn't waste her time with boy drama and always seemed to be in a good mood. I figured if anyone was prepared for college, it was her.
But there had to be something. Her Achilles heel. And whatever Dorothy was dreading in her final days of freedom, I'd better start preparing for it now.
So I went up to her the day before she left.  "Dorothy, I want to know. What's the biggest thing you're concerned about for college?"
"Well," she sighed, all the weariness of a forlorn freshman dragging down her shoulders, "I don't know if I'll have a toaster."
"A toaster?" 
"Yeah. I know I'm bring the TV..." she rattled off a list of which roommate was bringing what. "But I don't know if anyone is bringing a toaster." 
And all my fears for my college bound friend promptly evaporated. "Oh Dorothy. Poor, poor Dorothy. Worst case scenario: you have to eat raw toast for a week before you can find the time to drop by a yard sale and buy one for a buck fifty."
(Also one of Dorothy's roommates ended up bringing a toaster so her life's in pretty good shape)
With two days left before I head out, I am pleased to announce that I have arrived in the Toaster Stage. A huge mound of Stuff lurks in a corner of my living room, ready to take over my dorm. Well, my half of the dorm. The other side belongs to some girl I've never met before.
But I'll be living with her.
When I'm not navigating a strange campus.
Full of people I don't know.
And classes I can't find.
Or pass once I get there.
But you know what?
I've spent years worrying about these things. Now, when people ask me if I'm "excited for college", I can't honestly answer yes, but I'm not "nervous for college" either. Just ready.
That's how you know you hit the Toaster Stage.

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