College Adventures (But not really)

radiosilence95's picture

I know I shouldn't be writing this, but I'm bored so why the fuck not. That's a weird problem I've been facing lately, by the way. An abundance of free time. Time management is a whole new game in college, it seems. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I have Human Rights and Ways of Reading. Human Rights is an examination of social issues around the world, from LGBT rights in Russia to the political crisis in Syria, which seems pretty neat. Ways of Reading is all about literary criticism and different methods of analyzing literature, which seems okay, I guess. Then on Tuesdays I have to watch documentaries for Human Rights. Really depressing, graphic documentaries. And I have Fiction Writing Tuesdays and Thursdays.

So lately I have been trying desperately to fill the time gaps with clubs and socializing and exploring. Yesterday, for example, I went to a brony club meeting where we watched episodes of My Little Pony for two and a half hours. And I loved it. Other than that, I'll be participating in Common Ground, which is the LGBT club on campus, and the secular club, which is basically a club for atheists and agnostics that has guest speakers talk about evolution and the origins of life.

I've been exploring this town, just trying to get acquainted with it. I do that mostly alone. For example, yesterday I spent an hour in an antique store and found religious texts from 1804, which is the oldest I've ever found in an antique store before. I also found biographies of Lincoln from the 1880's, a book on star-gazing from the 1860's, and a bunch of other really cool books that I couldn't afford. Since I have no source of income anymore and can't seem to find a job on campus, I have to be very careful with my money. So when I come back for winter term in January with a replenished checking account, I'll splurge a bit more.

But yeah, my social life has improved. Not in the sense that I've met a ton of new people, but I'm getting closer to my suite mates. We have movie nights, go out to dinner every now and then, and just chill in the suite together. It's nice. I don't know how many other friends I'll make here. But it's not something I'm super concerned about, really. I'm okay with a small circle of friends. That's always how I've been. I haven't minded driving into town and walking the streets on my own, or roaming the campus alone. I've had opportunities to go to parties and passed them all up. I'm sure I'll wind up at a party at some point, but I doubt I'll enjoy it. I have zero interest in drinking or anything like that. If I do end up doing it, it'll be out of sheer boredom most likely.

I also don't really like my roommate. We get along well enough and I'm always polite to her, but...I don't know. I don't ever see us being best friends, which is fine with me. I can't really even give a good reason for not liking her, but I don't. But she's in my circle of suite friends, so I gotta get along with her.

My mom, her boyfriend, and my sister visited yesterday (I kinda wish her boyfriend hadn't come. He's a nice guy, but it would've been nice to spend the day with just my mom and sister). We went out to get lunch and my mom bought me a ton of groceries and it made me feel terrible because I wasn't sad when they left. I'm going through this weird thing. It's like...I'm not even sure I miss home, but I'm not completely at home here yet. I dunno. I'm not depressed or adjusting poorly or anything, I'm just in this weird in-between. Transitioning is strange.

So yeah. Also, I'm gonna make submissions to Catch, this award-winning literary magazine the college runs. Apparently it's a really elite magazine; only the very best submissions are published. Rejection is something I should probably learn while I'm here. I've hardly put myself out there as a writer and this would be a great opportunity. Problem is, I've gotten so rusty. This summer I didn't really write at all. So, I'm working on something right now but not feeling super confident about it. I don't know.

All in all, I'm doing fine. I can't tell you that I'm feeling at home, I can't tell you that I'm 100% certain this is where I belong, but I'm getting there.


jeff's picture


I think one of the biggest missteps I made in college was that, if I didn't like a class and found it useless, I just sort of dismissed it and didn't care. But over time, I realized that you are also there to learn learning. So, if you learn anything, no matter how useless, you are still deconstructing the process of learning something new. I can't say that would have changed my mind back in the day, but I often wonder. So, I'll give that to you before you have a class you're all WTF about, which is bound to happen.. ;-)

The other thing you learn about college, which may seem to nullify my previous paragraph, is how much college and life is really about networking. Like, if you learn the same as someone else, and the other person makes exponentially more acquaintances in school, they will have a huge step up in the future. My current work, side jobs I do, and last job were all had through e-mail asking me if I wanted to do work for them. That was it. There was no online job to apply to, nothing, I was being given the job before it got there, from previous co-workers.

So, that said, parties are nice ways to meet more people. Do you have to drink until so sloppy you're taking off your top and trying to hit on straight girls? Not really. But you can see other people at the party who are off to the side looking in, as well, and go talk to them. Not everyone is there to just drink excessively and vomit, they just get the lion's share of attention. I've had amazing conversations at parties (OK, I was usually trying to sleep with them, but still...) Similar to networking, college is sort of a microcosm for future life. Most people will not have a singular job anymore from post-college to retirement, which means a series of being dropped into an unknown number of people and forced to fit in. So, this is going to be an ongoing pattern. After you reject X number of party invites, you do become the person not invited, not out of malice, but because you just don't go. Better to go and not stay long. Go, just get buzzed and dance for a bit. Who knows? What could it hurt?

Also, why decide at such a young age that "I am X, and this is how I roll"? Based on what, a high school in a smaller town with far less options?! Was that a life choice or the only previous option? I think every declaration I've ever made has usually been an invitation for the universe to prove me wrong in the future.

The Brony Club doesn't sound like it would work with your finances, or are you meant to watch 2.5 of My Little Pony and not be high?!? That makes even less sense to me... ;-)

"You don't know you're beautiful." - Harry Styles

radiosilence95's picture

I know it's pretty much

I know it's pretty much inevitable that I'll wind up at some party. It's just the idea of being around insanely drunk people doing stupid bullshit has never appealed to me, but you're right, I should give it a try at least. I might even enjoy myself if I can loosen up a bit.

I've always, always been this way. I'm a creature of solitude. It's not that I've always been more alone than others, it's that I like it that way, or at least, I've learned to like it. Small circle of friends, slightly larger ring of acquaintances, and I'm content. I don't need 200 followers on Twitter. I don't need to know the names and majors of every freshman here. I get to know a handful of people intimately as opposed to many people on the surface level.

If I become super social in the next year, great. If not, great. The above paragraph has been my pattern of social behavior since I was thrown into kindergarten. So for eighteen years, yeah, I've been quiet, withdrawn, solitary. I just don't see that changing dramatically just because of college. I mean, I definitely can talk to people and communicate with them more effectively now, but there's a difference between conversational skills and actually being able to establish an intimate friendship with someone.