6.05.2013

the college experience.

Most people go to college and come away with so much more of an open mind, so much more enriched with life experiences. It's the first time away from home, the first time away from parental guidance. People realize that they are fully responsible for their own actions, and further they get to seriously do whatever they want. You go out and party instead of studying for a test, and no one is there to criticize you but yourself. Your parents and your past can have influence over what you do in life, but everyone who comes to any particular institution has a unique story, and immersion in this diversity lends itself to the idea that no matter your background, you can wipe the slate clean and your life really becomes  yours. That's the beauty of the college experience. 

Maybe I'm fooling myself, but I feel like I had already grown past a lot of that, even before coming here. I've had my share of cognitive dissonance and existential crises, to the point where I just don't experience them anymore. I was as sexually liberated, so to speak, as I will ever be before I came to college. While my parents still did get to me at times and they always will, I had already largely shut them out. Their input has meant nothing to me for a long time. I already know myself and my needs fairly well, and my biggest struggle in social interactions is in understanding the internal inconsistencies of others. A particularly frustrating situation that I really did not know how to deal with involved a friend asserting and clinging to her straightness while struggling with her hard crushes on girls. I literally explained to her, "if this were a mathematical proof, by definition you cannot be both heterosexual and into girls; that would be a contradiction." It seemed so simple to me, and it still does. But of course, while she eventually came to terms with her queerness, I don't feel that I really helped her.  I feel like a jaded old person who has forgotten what it's like to be young and questioning and expanding oneself. 

It came as a surprise when I was voted "most likely to never change" in my Spanish class. I know it was only Spanish class, but I've thought about it from time to time and I'm increasingly convinced that it has some merit. I have no doubts that my crystallized intelligence will increase very much in my time here, but my personality will be pretty much the same. I'll have some moderate crises about selecting a career, another one about whether I want to be supportive of my parents (financially/socially), another about ending my career, and then that will be pretty much it. 

I'm glad I'm done having big, personal, WHO AM I, crises, but the stability is also sort of lame and disappointing, like I have nothing really to look forward to and I've plateaued as a person. Yet, knowing me, I'll probably find a way to fuck myself up sooner or later. 

-T.

2 comments: