With the exception of the past two years, all our lives have been spent without a mask covering the lower half of our faces.

When a Madison order began to require face coverings in public settings at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the dynamic of entering public venues changed. This new accessory made previously simple tasks — like breathing and seeing the lower half of people’s faces — slightly more difficult … or outright impossible.

But ever since the mask mandate at the University of Wisconsin has been lifted, many people are beginning to expose their bare, naked faces once again and learning to cope without the luxuries of wearing a mask.

Read it again. Yeah, there are luxuries to wearing a mask. Don’t act like you’re unaware of what I’m talking about.

Here’s 10 sneaky, gross and embarrassing things you’ve been getting away with the past two years while wearing a mask. The good news is, you shouldn’t be too embarrassed. Everyone else has been doing the same things too.

Skip brushing your teeth before your 8:50 (or 8:00 a.m. if you’re REALLY unlucky)

Only using mouthwash in the mornings just isn’t going to cut it anymore … not like your stanky breath will cut the air at least. Oh and you might want to invest in teeth whitening strips during your trip to Walgreens to pick up a new toothbrush and toothpaste.

Sing to yourself

While reliving your dreams of starring on American Idol as you walk down University Avenue surely made the trip to class more entertaining, it’s time to return to reality. You aren’t American Idol’s next star. You can’t sing. In fact, you hardly know the words to the song you’re lip syncing. Save yourself the embarrassment. You don’t have a mask to cover up your musical flaws anymore.

Freshman boys — it’s time to shave the patchy peach fuzz “mustache”

If you’re a woman or a man over the age of 19, you can skip this part. Hello, freshman boys. At this time, please approach the mirror on your dorm room door. If you look really close you might be able to see a line of hair on your upper lip. Shave it. Immediately.

Let the snot drip down your entire face

Yeah, this is the prime example of a “gross” thing you’ve been doing behind your mask. Go to the bathroom and blow your nose, bro. That’s just disgusting. I would NEVER do such a thing while sitting in the middle of a 15-person row of chairs during a lecture. The thought would never even cross my mind.

Play the guessing game of “What’s their nose look like?”

It’s like Mr. Potato Head, except in real life … and now you can actually see people’s noses and can’t entertain yourself fantasizing about potential nose shapes for every person in your discussion section.

Mouth breathing …

I know, this one is painful. The best part of wearing a mask, stripped from us. Looks like it may be time to throw the backpack on, crank up the incline on the treadmill and get training for your daily hike up Bascom.

Blame your breakouts on masks

As much as you don’t want to admit it, you just have acne. So does everyone else. It’s not your mask, it’s just your shitty genetics.

Form immediate opinions on someone based on how they wear their mask

The nose hangers, double maskers, chin strappers, twist the ear loop-ers and wrinkled mask that needs to be replaced-ers. It really is an identity.

Get steamy behind the glass — I mean glasses

Do I even have to explain this one? How are you going to piss yourself off simply by breathing without the ability to unintentionally fog up your glasses?

Pull down your mask to cough or sneeze

Last, but not least, you can no longer defeat the entire purpose of wearing a mask by pulling down the piece of fabric when sneezing or coughing. But please, keep it in your elbow still. I’m begging you.

I’m sure after this impeccably written list you probably miss these 10 underappreciated luxuries of wearing a mask. Lucky for you, the option to wear a mask still remains. So, if you REALLY can’t give up the mouth breathing, there are masks available in most university buildings.