Featured, Theory & Essay

Things My Mom Can’t Make Me Do Now That I’m In College

I’ve been observing the changes in my behavior since I’ve been at school and away from home for the first time, and I wrote a song about it. Wanna hear it? That sucks because there isn’t one. But there is this list of things my mom can’t make me do anymore.

1. Eat Vegetables

For breakfast this morning, I had a plate of french fries. For dinner, I had THREE delicious bacon, ham, and cheese sammiches. My mother tried to instill the value of veggies in my life. Tried real hard. She put green vegetables on my plate at nearly every meal, and fruit at breakfast. She had a food pyramid game that was so raw (BTW: It ain’t even a pyramid, nowadays, it’s a circle), and she really thought she had reached her goal when I called her asking her to bring me green beans and cabbage… OR SO SHE THOUGHT! (Don’t tell anybody, but that cabbage been sitting in the refrigerator since she left them left them there and at this point, I’m scared to open the container because I don’t want to know what old cabbage smells like.)

2. Rep My Set

I grew up in an African-American suburb with my peers trying to turn it into something more gangsta. Growing up in this environment and slowly learning to hate my peers left me with two choices: become the sort that bends over backwards to assimilate, or become Assata Shakur. Rebel that I am, my choice was obvious. But now that I’m in college, I’ve scaled it back a bit– for reasons.

I was Chris Rock who said “I love Black people, but I can’t stand [n-folk].” At the time, I didn’t agree. I was one. Nonetheless, some seventeen years later, the thought resonates. Take my roommate, for example. I don’t object to her, per se. She’s a people, for the most part.

Her friends, however, are rude folk, ugly folk, nasty folk. I walked out my room one time to grab something to eat (not a vegetable) and there are wrapped willies walking in my living room and a love juice stain on the couch. THEN WHEN I WENT BACK IN MY ROOM, THEY HAD SEX ON MY BLANKETS AND BROKE MY DECORATIVE PILLOW!! How do you break a pillow? HOW DAT WORK?! WHERE THEY DO THAT?!

The various shenanigans of my roommates’ friends and others of their ilk have caused me to dial back on my infallible defense of Black folk. So, no—not repping my set as much.

3. Thugging for the Lord

Yes, I’m a 120 pound, 18 year old engineering student from the ‘burbs, and I’m thugging. Now, I know what you’re thinking—you’re thinking, “Hey, that’s a positive declarative! This is supposed to a list about what she isn’t doing. You can’t do that!” Now that I’m being forced into becoming something like an adult, I’m realizing that a great many of y’all ain’t all you’re cracked up to be. Some of you are outright full of it, and it makes realize that I’ve spend my childhood in awe of you for nothing. It makes me firmer in my convictions. I challenge your ideas. I buck your system. I dream of gnawing at your corneas.

One of the biggest and most startling changes in myself that I’ve noticed are my views on religion and spirituality. First of all, I haven’t set foot in a church since I’ve been here, but I find myself more spiritual than ever. I was raised in church, and while my mother is progressive, she’s also very, very Christian. In my grandmother’s church, they have the notion that prayer lasts two hours and you haven’t touched God until the keyboard organ has started up and Sister Martha* has danced her wig exactly 26.7° askew. Now that I have distanced myself from Sister Martha and the Swoop Bang that Tried, I have new perspective. I talk to God daily, all day sometimes. That’s my homie. I know that’s an increasingly unpopular view, and I couldn’t care less. Cuz I’m a thug.

4. Giving Dambs

I’ve never been one to be overly generous with the dambs, but most times I would at least try. In most instances, I would reach deep deep down into the corner of my pocket and come up with one scraggly little damb and I’d hold it in my hand. The poor, little, decrepit damb would cough and look at me with longing eyes and I’d whisper, “Be free” and the little damb would fly. But no more. My dambs don’t fly no more — they got lazy just like I did. You could tell me Little Timmy fell down the well and I’d just do some rendition of “Po’ Little Tink Tink” because: A. Really, Timmy? Again? And B. I don’t care and don’t feel like caring and my mother’s not here to make me care.

I don’t care about deep cleaning — I was all pressed because I accidentally left my dustbuster at home when I moved in, but I haven’t seen it or the right side of a dust rag since August, and I couldn’t care less. I don’t care about appearances — I straight up wore giraffe footie pajamas, complete with a hood with antlers, some black boots, and gold earrings to class last week. It was 60 degrees outside and I was about to be late trying to pick an outfit because everything I picked out left me out in the cold. My need for warmth overrode my sense of appropriate dress. I was snuggly. Obviously my cute wasn’t affected, because I also pulled a number. I guess “no, I quite literally woke up like this” has a certain appeal for the boyfolk. Go fig.

 

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Jai Celeste

Jai-Celeste is a 18 year old college student who spends her days contemplating the wonders of her new-found adulthood, and debating if it would be easier just to spend her life as a caterpillar. If you're looking for her you can find her in these e-streets, eating bacon and silently judging the mothers of children with improperly punctuated forenames.

  • laddibugg

    freezing at 60 degrees? Where are you from, the Equator?
    (eating veggies builds your iron levels up…and less susceptible to cold ;-) )

    • Folasade

      I’m from the equator and anything less than 70 is cold boo

      • Charlisia Nwachukwu

        I’m in Atlanta and anything under 60 is cold to me haha

        • SuperStrings

          Weather around 70 the next few days. Perfect fall weather .

          • IcePrincess

            Omgggg it really is

      • RewindingtonMaximus

        Because you’re at the equator…yall don’t even understand the notion of hot anymore when every single day is above 85, except those special days when hurricanes come knocking at the door.

        • Folasade

          lol I said from not at but I get what you mean.

  • vas

    better watch them veggies that freshmen 15 is no myth

    • Val

      Round about next March, when her jeans aren’t exactly fitting anymore, she’ll be eating all kinds of veggies and salads. Lol

      • RewindingtonMaximus

        Nope, she’ll be eating Five Guys. Depression wins every time.

        • Folasade

          She won’t be able to afford five guys, it’ll be McDonalds and Burger King until summer comes and she gets a summer job.

    • RewindingtonMaximus

      Especially when it evens out on body parts, got one boob weighing 7.89 lbs and the other 7.11lbs

      • Folasade

        But what are you trying to say about uneven boobs though?

        • RewindingtonMaximus

          That its funny to hear a woman complain about them when they just look like tiddies to us.

  • LMNOP

    Well hon, clearly you need someone to tell you to eat your vegetables since you chose to write this little article on a site full of parents and other grown azz people.

    So, eat your vegetables. Also, don’t drink too much, be careful who you sleep with, use condoms (or abstinence or be a lesbian), don’t use drugs, brush your teeth at least twice a day, stay on top of your school work, and call your mom.

    • Detroit Skater

      yes! to you for this comment….

    • Aly

      Great advice.

    • Val

      Great advice, except for the “be a lesbian” part. You can’t just decide to be a lesbian.

      • IcePrincess

        Plus, you can still catch the Herp, so that advice ain’t good anyway lol

        • Val

          Lol. Leave it to you to break it down, IP.

        • RewindingtonMaximus

          The gawd has spoken

          • IcePrincess

            Wait…..are you calling me the god of herpes?! Lol. No sir.

            • RewindingtonMaximus

              No woman! Geez I was calling you the Knowledge God, you done fucked up my whole process now, bad Princess!

            • LMNOP

              And warts and crabs. Apparently you can get chlamydia and maybe gonorrhea in your mouth/ throat too, but I didn’t want to get all graphic and nasty.

        • SuperStrings

          Truuuuuu…

      • I wish you were wrong, Val, but I’m seen some receipts. *smh* The LUG phenomenon is NOT a game. It’s not my business, but I think it’s f*cked ALL the way up.

        • LMNOP

          No, she’s right. TRUST ME, if I could just up and be a lesbian I’d be all over that.

          I just meant do something to prevent pregnancy/STDs, condoms, no chex, being a lesbian (obviously only works if she’s a lesbian), whatever works for her.

    • ??Jessica??

      At least have a lesbian experience…..

  • pls

    i remember my mom put me on “punishment” when i was a freshman in college, smh.

    it’s so hard for parents to let go sometimes.

  • PhlyyPhree

    LMAOOOO
    I don’t think I’ve been back to church since I left high school and matriculated through college. I do talk to the homie JC….faithfully. I just don’t visit him in the “house” anymore.

  • Kay

    Hey Spelman Sisters (Picture)!

  • TwentyTwo

    “The swoop bang that tried”

    HAHAHAHA!

  • Kozy

    “In my grandmother’s church, they have the notion that prayer lasts two hours and you haven’t touched God until the keyboard organ has started up and Sister Martha* has danced her wig exactly 26.7° askew.”

    As a fellow engineer and former marathon prayer attendee, this line just about killed me.

    Brava.

  • Detroit Skater

    i can’t hate on you with the fries for breakfast (i love fries). although it has already been said it bares repeating, you might want to reconsider those veggies cause that freshman 15 is real sista, it’s real!

    • Maybe I was lucky, but I *lost* 15 pounds my first semester in college. Those half hour walks across campus will get you free exercise. LOL

      • Folasade

        That’s cause your a guy. College can be an emotional cluster f&%k for women and the meal plans don’t in any way help : (

        • Looking back, you have a point. It’s like Freshman Year is a live-action Dawson’s Creek episode. Like every girl has a good cry and emotional Touching Moment sometime during their first semester.

          • Meridian

            It’s just super jarring. I think college for males is a lot of freedom and empowerment. For females it’s very disorienting and you tend to have a loooot of ups and downs on the journey of finding your way.

            • Why is it so disorienting? And heck, you’d think freshman women would have it easier because errbody wants them at their parties. LOL Seriously, what is it? I was just glad to start over someplace where my name didn’t have a meaning attached to it before I walked in the room.

              • Meridian

                Because everyone is out to take advantage of a young girl with bright, doe eyes. Everyone wants a piece of you. Everyone wants to position you or get in your head. You’ve been told about the dangers. It’s scary. Not only that, there’s an emotional component to all the stuff universally experienced in college and it’s something we keep open. Not to mention the developmental things we experience and the independent choices we have to make on the fly that have substantial impact on our womanhood, how we’re treated, and how we’re perceived. It’s a lot of things. I don’t see how such a major life experience could be simplified. Must be nice lol.

                • I can see the issue. Freshmen girls are targeted. On the flip side, freshman boys can be ignored, and that creates its own set of issues. I see where you’re going though. Being targeted like that can be very dangerous.

                • Jetty

                  so true…all of it

          • Folasade

            Yes! My dorm was for reals like a real life bad girls club. It was hot ass enjoyable mess.

  • Aly

    Love this post! Newfound adulthood is a beautiful thing. My son has already told me that when he leaves for college he plans to stay up as late as he wants and eat Ramen noodles every day. He really, really loves Ramen.

    • Val

      Staying up late and eating lots of Ramen pretty much sums up a good portion of college life. Lol

      • Aly

        Basically lol.

      • My college diet had a heavy amount of popcorn, raisins, jellybeans and Werther’s Candies. Oh, and cheese fries and granny smith apples. Yeah, I was odd.

        • Meridian

          Gourmet budget meals, munchies meals, and drunk cuisine were always awesome. My staples were McDonalds, bagel bites/pizza rolls, hot fries (chips), Taco Bell, and popcorn chicken.

          • IcePrincess

            I use to loooove bagel bites when I was a teen also! Now I wouldn’t touch them with a ten ft pole

            • Meridian

              They’re so gross now. I’m like that with Micky D’s too. I care that the nuggets are the pink sludge of squirrel liver and sh*t.

              • Ms TLC

                My body TOTALLY rejects Micky D’s food anyway. I had a moment of “nostalgia” (nuggets, fries, and iced tea) a few months back and well my body functions just ground down to a holt…AWFUL!

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