College vs. My Life Now

By: Heather Desmond O’Neill

CollegeIt’s that time of year again …. College application time! Students are visiting campuses, filling out applications, requesting letters of recommendations and writing college entrance essays. When I have discussions with my students about college, I can’t help but think of the amazing time I had and the wonderful friends I made.

This time of year always makes me a little nostalgic.  Oh how I miss the days when all I had to care for was myself.  Here are the top 10 differences between my life then, as a naive 18-year-old, and now, as a married, working, mother of two:


  1. Guilt-free sleeping until noon…Who am I kidding? Just sleeping to noon!
  2. Going to the dining hall – having someone prepare all the meals and do all of the dishes
  3. Laundry – carving out time on a Sunday between sleeping in, napping and recovering from Saturday evening’s activities
  4. Thirsty Thursdays – going out on a Thursday night … Heck, going out at all!
  5. Scheduled classes – one or two a day, allowing you to sleep until 9am, hang out with friends and participate in activities I truly enjoyed
  6. Always having my girlfriends around
  7. Working out when I wanted to
  8. Thinking a box of wine was cool
  9. Dorm living – always having people around, things to do and places to go
  10. Dating


  1. There is no such thing as sleeping in – but I do enjoy waking up to my boys standing by my bed, wanting to cuddle, seeking hugs and kisses
  2. While the dining hall was great, I do like preparing my own meals and actually knowing what goes into that “special sauce.”
  3. Laundry is a constant. It’s not the washing/drying I mind, it’s the folding and putting away that kills me!
  4. Thursdays will never be the same….
  5. Having the time in the day to do what I “want” to instead of what I “have” to do
  6. My girlfriends and I are scattered throughout the country – I truly miss having them around
  7. Working out?
  8. Purchasing a bottle of wine that costs more than $5.99
  9. Owning my own home – don’t have to wear flip-flops in the shower
  10. Love that I get to wake up to my best friend and partner every morning.

While I had a blast in college, I wouldn’t trade that life for what I have now. I’m glad I did what I did when I did it – it has made me into the wife, mother and woman I am today.  It is fun every year to recall those years and see the excitement on my students’ faces as they embark on their own journeys.

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