There is something to be said about a New York City sanitation worker having to pick up the trash left behind by the residents of the city that doesn’t sleep. Oh, the things they must see!

But then, you get stories like this one from The Gothamist and I think it brings the the painful reality to one man the fantasy life of a near child.

I went to a lovely college, nestled at the foot of Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden, Connecticut. Every May, after classes stopped to enjoy the summer, and finals went back into hiding, you had your students who got rid of things because they could. However, many really only threw away damaged things and that which we couldn’t bring home. My roommates and I used a lot of the same items from freshman year through senior.

Disclaimer: I’m guilty of leaving perfectly salvageable lamps and “decor” because I just couldn’t fit them into my parents’ Honda Pilot.

Let me just also point out that there has been enough time between me and my college years that I can now refer to students as children or kids. Yes, at one point, we thought we were the untouchable, beautiful children of the world, set to receive our education and the world would think that we, ourselves created sunlight. Then we graduated to an economy and lifestyle shift that essentially told us that the $100,000+ that were spent in the last four years, was for a lack of better word: useless. But I digress.

If you’ve ever gone down near NYU, it’s quite apparent the lives that these kids lead. So it’s no wonder that the garbage men, and those paying rent from undernourished paychecks are shocked, disappointed, and sometimes sickened by the findings semi-wrapped in black plastic on the sidewalks.

Parents, teach your children responsibility and that you really should not throw away perfectly usable bedding, white boards, and socks after each academic year. Or, if you don’t want it, especially in NYC, there are countless places to which you can donate your items.

At 28, I am so disappointed in the way the youth of today throws away things willy nilly. From being the girl who figured “it’s just a lamp,” at 20, I’m now that girl walking down the street seeing the garbage of neighbors and think “Oh! That’s a lovely piece. Do I have room for it?” Or, if I need a particular piece of furniture, I keep my eyes peeled for it.

It’s remarkable how a few years in an overpriced city changes one’s perspective on belongings and value.