Embracing Student Life -- La Rentrée

Friday, September 2, 2011

Embracing Student Life -- La Rentrée

Back to school shopping...
For many French students, the rentrée is upon us, the return from a month of sun-soaked beaches and exotic getaways.  Instead of suntan lotion and salt water, the nostalgia-inducing smell of freshly sharpened pencils and new erasers fills the air as school kids trade in their teenybopper magazines for textbooks and Victor Hugo.

Freakishly, my program at the Sorbonne doesn’t start until October, so I get another month of Tiger Beat, but I can still sense the back-to-school mayhem.  It’s a snap back into reality that, “Hey, Bryan, you’re a student, too.”  Gone is my summer of traipsing around Italy and picnicking in the Butte Chaumont.  Fortunately, the student life isn’t all bad in Paris.  I’ve realized that I’ve adopted a few habits that, at my age, can only be justified by having a student ID card.  Being a student can erase all sorts of sins – sins that I’m in no rush to have forgiven.

For example, only as a student can I justify drinking wine out of mugs and water out of old juice bottles.  Normal adults, at my age, with their jobs and incomes usually invest in wine glasses and water goblets.  I have some wine glasses, with the Ikea price stickers still attached.  I’m in no rush to use (read: break) them.  And water glasses in Paris are always so tiny, so I opt for the liter glass bottle that once contained orange juice.  Not only is it good for the environment to reuse it, but it’s keeping my kidney’s working fulltime.  Don’t get lazy on me, guys.

It may be a hipster New York thing, but only as a student can I get away with wearing Converse with holes in them in Paris.  Normally Parisians sport their spankin’ new Chucks in all different colors.  I sport an array of colors with a little extra show of sock through various holes around the edges.  I feel this gives me a vintage-he’s-too-busy-studying look that only a student can pull off.
Hey, they still work...
By a certain age, it’s probably appropriate to own a desk.  Only as a student can I still do my homework consistently from the comfort of my futon and a 4 euro Ikea coffee table.  Who needs good posture when you’re young, poor, and learning?  If I need to spread out books and notes, I simply move to the floor.

Knowing how to malnourish yourself is a staple of student life, so it’s only as a student in Paris, a city so full of amazing food, that I can justifiably own more than one kind of peanut butter.  Eating peanut butter is as much a hallmark of student life as suffering a hangover and procrastinating on a paper.  I embrace it.  Not one jar.  Not two jars.  But there are no less than three jars of PB at any time chez moi.
And that's not all of it...
I don’t own a ping pong table.  Still, as a student, it is perfectly acceptable, if not mandatory, to have ping pong balls on hand at all time.  One never knows when my pals from school will come over with some brewskies to play a rousing game of beer pong, and of course, I need to be prepared (note: package in photo never opened).

Well, I guess it’s time to get back to Tiger Beat...


  1. hahahahahahahha tigerbeat? heeheeheehee

  2. I was thinking of you when I wrote that, Alisa...

  3. I had completely forgotten about Tigerbeat! Awesome reference. Also, aren't you just dying for a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils??

  4. I'd loooove some pencils right now. And I'm sorry, I corrected my error, but it's "Tiger Beat" and not "Tigerbeat" ...oh boy would that have been bad if the magazine found out about my mistake...


  5. Oh right havr you ever even played beer pong in your life? Why do you have those pingpong balls?!

  6. I'm actually cracking up imagining you saying 'brewskies' out loud.


  7. Caroline, get a few cans of Seize and we'll get the brewskie party going....