Forlorn and alone on a Saturday night

Paladin's picture

I've been busy, and haven't had much time to post until now. I'm feeling very forlorn, though I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. This journal entry becomes a little ranty towards the end.

I: University

My hope in going to the US to study is drying up quickly, as two of the universities I've applied to have waitlisted me. Washington University (in St. Louis) doesn't give any financial aid to waitlisted candidates, so there's no chance I'm going there. Middlebury waitlisted over a thousand people last year, so my chances of getting in aren't too good.

Of the colleges I applied to in the US, Middlebury is regarded as the least competitive. I haven't heard from the rest, but it's not looking good. I should have applied to more colleges, or some less selective ones. But my parents discouraged me from doing this. As safeties I have almost any university in Australia, and it's relatively cheap for me to study there. Being an Australian citizen, the government would also give me a very nice loan for anything my parents didn't want to pay for.

II: Australia

But I don't want to go to Australia. The whole point of choosing such selective colleges was that I would be surrounded by really smart people. It is much easier for me to get into Melbourne University, or Australia National University, two of the top universities in Australia. Some of my friends are in their first and second years of university, while I'm still doing my final year (this is because the Australian education system finishes sooner)

More importantly, I was hoping to put the Pacific Ocean (and most of North America) between me and my parents. I don't like the prospect that they are going to retire and spend 3-6 months each year in Melbourne. They will want me to go to Melbourne Uni, and there is no conceivable reason why I shouldn't.

III: Parents

I haven't confronted them on this - the fact that I do not want to see them for more than a total of 3 weeks a year once I'm out of here. I was talking to a friend of mine about it, and he asked whether or not I was being a bit harsh. Maybe I am, but I have made a lot of progress. Two years ago I was planning to change city and never talk to them again. I now think that would be rather cowardly, since if they can't tolerate me, then they should get out of town.

They do care for me; they want to mold me in their image. But I don't care for them. Or I'm trying not to. In a moment of deep, sad introspection last year I realised I still do love my parents. But I don't want to. A part of me wants them to mess things up. I deliberately and arrogantly sabotage all attempts they make to repair things between us.

As long as they insist on being part of my world, I will snub them, as I do now. Most of the conversation between me and my parents is purely functional ("What's for dinner?", "I need get picked up at 3:30"), or argumentative. They might complain about something, at which point I will lash out back at them with a caustic remark. I know that this is a defense mechanism - the best defence is a good offence. They might try and ask what's bothering me. But I will deny that anything is bothering me. Until tonight, nothing really was bothering me other than a little stress from revising for exams.

I lack faith in their actions. I know some of the time they are trying to repair things, but other times I get the feeling they are trying to build me in their image again. I will not have that. I have known them for too long.

IV: Lonliness

And right now I realise how alone I am. I am a little down over the news from Middlebury, and it's too late to call up the friend who I thought I would. I chatted with a friend on my list, and got an e-mail reply on this, but I still feel alone. I should probably call him, but I'm afraid as coming across looking for pity. I'm afraid of seeming like I can't take this in my stride. I can, but it would sure be nice if I knew someone I could just talk to, or hug, or just do anything to confirm my existence without consequences. I have to stop trying to be such a bloody man about these things.


suffragettecity's picture

Did you try my school, Ball S

Did you try my school, Ball State University ( We have really good journalism, architecture and business programs...

"Sometimes a little brain damage helps."
-- George Carlin

Paladin's picture


No, I didn't. I only applied to places where there was lots of financial aid for international students, like Middlebury (Middlebury is need-blind for international students).

I'm going to be majoring in maths. Actually, I think I might have blown it all a bit out of proportion, since I always did have Australia as a safety if I couldn't get decent financial aid in the US. And there still the other 6/7 places I applied to that I still haven't heard from.


Dan84's picture


Hey Dave,

I admit I feel pretty bad for you. Tough situation, for sure-- especially the parent one. I've never experienced anything like a lot of that, so it's not like I can give you any advice-- or, to clarify, any useful advice.

All I can do is give you a virtual hug... :)

We're all rooting for you!


Paladin's picture


Thanks Dan. I think I'm back on track again, or so I hope.

Update: I think I blew the universities a bit out of proportion. For one thing, the folks at Middlebury asked me to "describe an experience in which [my] values were tested and how [I] have grown as a result of that experience." For that I talked about coming out. But because I was so slow to get it done, I didn't have time to get my english teacher to read it, so it was probably a little unpolished. Also, maybe they didn't like the subject matter. Since I didn't send it to my other choices, I might have a better chance with them. We'll see soon enough.