by Dan Giles
“It’s just surreal that my home continued onward without me for a year. I feel like a ghost peering in on my former life,” commented USC sophomore Elsa Cook. On temporary leave from the breathless pace of campus life, Elsa and so many other Trojans that have elected to spend the summer at home find themselves confronting major lifestyle adjustments. They face such hurdles as a hometown that no longer feels like home, family members displaying both cosmetic and emotional marks of maturity, and household pets that have grown more callous and disillusioned with the world. Moreover, Cook pointed out that the most alienating aspect of living at home arises from the challenge of having to substitute college drinking friends with a makeshift team of former high school drinking friends.
“When I methodically overwhelm my bloodstream with fermented drink, usually I am surrounded by a multitude of blurry animate shapes that also attend ‘SC,” said Cook. She confided that during the summer months, “My old high school pals will convene in my basement to serve as the blurred humanoid figures downing shots of Fireball with me. It definitely awakens some nostalgia.”
Many USC students find themselves in similar dire straits.
“I like to imbibe many Coors Lights with my college bros,” said junior Mark Schwartz, “My experience of imbibing the Coors Lights slightly differs when I am instead surrounded by my bros from Jefferson East [High School]. We kick back, spend some quality time imbibing our Coors Lights, and periodically utter to one another college stories about our adventures imbibing the Coors Lights. Gosh, I like imbibing Coors Lights.”
Since students that return home tend to be younger, legally underage students not yet pressured to take up an internship, these students also tend to rely on their peer connections to acquire the alcoholic beverages needed to reach a euphoric state of liver-annihilating stupor. “When my high school friends want to hang, there’s no way I’m going,” said junior Renee King, “but if alcohol wants to hang and my high school friends also happen to be there, you know I’m down.”
Some students report difficulty drinking to excess in the first place. Even though he hails from Pondicherry, India, where he is above the legal drinking age, sophomore Sayed Suddala said that his conservative parents repress the binge drinking habits that USC instilled in him. “They do not even allow me a glass of wine with dinner. It sucks here,” said Suddala. Though he gets intoxicated at friends’ overnight soirees, he does not care much for his hometown connections, so he only gets in his drinking fix about twice a week. Said Suddala, “It would be convenient if I didn’t need to decorate the room with obscured friends from my adolescence in order to get hammered, but of course I cannot just drink alone. I am not an alcoholic.”