“Nobody said it was easy…
ever said it would be this hard.”
—Coldplay, “The Scientist”
15 September 2003
I didn’t really want to go to college.
I wasn’t excited about it. I apologize to every adult who
asked me over the past few months if I was looking forward to it…because
I lied…I wasn’t. I never did look forward to it even though
everyone else I know was just dying to go. I went to college because
that’s what you’re supposed to do, right? You’re
supposed to go through high school, make the grades, be on the
student council, and apply to billions of colleges. And then you
wait nervously to find out which ones accepted you and which ones
you just weren’t good enough for. Well I did the whole high
school thing, and I loved high school. I loved it so much that
I didn’t want it to ever end. But when it came to the whole
college thing I just didn’t care. So I only sent in one application,
to one college. This one. And so that’s why I’m here.
Six hours away from my two favorite girls. Seven hours away from
my two favorite boys.
And so why out of state? Everyone asks me
that question. Why did you leave all of your friends? Why did you
leave everything that you knew? The answer, to be
honest, is really quite a shame. I went out of state because I’m arrogant.
Smart kids go out of state, right? And in high school I was a smart kid. So I
had to go out of state. No offense, my in-state friends…I have since seen the
error of my ways. But once upon a time I was not so wise as I am today, and I
thought I HAD to go out of state. It’s what I always said I’d do.
It’s what everyone expected me to do. So I did it.
And now, after letting
you know how I felt at the onset of this whole college
experience I’ll do my best to brief you on my first few weeks here. It’s
crazy how much one’s perspective can change in such a short time.
day I left my friends in my driveway was the second worse day of my life.
The worst day being the day before when a certain LSU friend left
me in his driveway. So
we drove up here in my mother’s Suburban…because my
way cool parents think college kids don’t need cars on campus. My entire
18 years of existence fit in the back seat. You think you would acquire more
stuff than that in 18
years. So we get here and I move my stuff in and I spend my first night in
an empty dorm room. Roommate wouldn’t be up for another five days.
So there I was, in this foreign room, in a foreign city, in an eerily empty
sitting on an uncomfortable dorm bed fighting back tears as I called every
single one of my friends.
And the next night was much the same. I hated
it here. All of my friends from home were having so much fun together.
was sitting here—alone.
And the fear set in. The fear that they were all going to forget me. All
that I spent all those years getting to know and getting to love…they were
going to continue to grow closer…and there would be no need to remember
me. It’s a terrible thing to be forgotten.
My third day here was the
first day of Rush…which I went through in an attempt to meet some
people before school started. Now, I don’t know what your
idea of fun is, but unless you enjoy walking around in the Texas heat from
9 a.m. to 7 p.m., the first day was so not fun. And personally, I’m
a tomboy. I’ve always gotten along better with boys. I’ve always
hung out with boys. Other than a very select few, I really don’t
even like girls. But making friends
here was a necessary evil. I knew no one.
So on the second day
I started to talk to girls whom I had seen the day before. They told me
stories about where they were from, whom they had left behind, why they
to leave and why they regretted it now. I wasn’t alone. And that
helped. The next day was even better, and so on and so forth until the
very end of
Recruitment week when I joined the Alpha Chi Omega sorority here at UT.
Roommate came up in the midst of that, and she’s one of the coolest
people I know. We were hardly acquaintances when this whole living together
thing began, and
now we’re becoming pretty decent friends. It’s a cool experience.
I would highly suggest living with someone whom you don’t know like
the back of your hand. It makes life far more interesting.
[To my audience
at large: Throughout my journals ‘Roommate’ is used as a
replacement for my most excellent living companion’s actual name…thus,
for the sake of grammatical accuracy the word ‘Roommate’ shall
be heretoforth capitalized.]
But I still called
home at least 20 times a day. (And by home I mean my friends AND my family…now
I like my family and all, but I’m not one to call them
every day when I’m not with them…but I did…sometimes
more than once a day.) I never walked anywhere without my cell phone
my ear. And
then classes started. Everyone always said that college would be easier
than high school. And it is. The hard part is making yourself get up
and go. No one
is taking attendance. No one is calling home if you don’t show
so tempting just to stay in bed. I did. I skipped Spanish the fourth
day of class. I figured it was no big deal…I just wouldn’t turn
in the homework due that day. How much could it be worth, ya know? But
the next class everyone
turned in more homework…homework I didn’t know about because
been there when it was assigned. That’s not a good way to start
off your academic career.
Anyway, classes started, sorority stuff started,
Roommate was here, and you know what happened? I found myself walking
to class two and three
and not needing to call someone from home. Roommate came with me
to get my nose pierced. That was way cool. I mean, not the whole process
extra hole added to your face…that part was rather uncool. But
it was a very cool thing to do something that brave…something
so unlike me.
that people didn’t expect. And I think that’s got to be
a sign of personal growth, right? Doing something you want to do rather
than because your
friends and family and teachers and coaches and moderators expect you
to. And it’s so cute! Man, I love it. I’m really glad I
did it. But I haven’t
told my parents yet…so keep it on the DL. And now I’ve
been here an entire month. It doesn’t seem like it’s been
that long. Perhaps the eternity between now and Thanksgiving holiday
an eternity. Perhaps this will all go by faster than high school did.
Roommate and I have been
to a couple of parties. We’ve met a few people. And now it seems
like this is going to be an okay place to reside. Austin City Limits
promises to be an
amazingly sweet experience, and Roommate and I have three-day passes…way
cool. So this might end up being the greatest four years of my life
like everyone assured me it would be. I still have my doubts about
I’m a little
bit more open to the idea.
And as for all of those friends who I was
sure were going to forget all about me, they keep calling me…every
day. In a way I’m becoming closer to
many of them than I ever was before. (right, Nicholas?) I’m
doing something different, something they’re not doing, and
interested in seeing how it all turns out. And maybe, just maybe,
they miss me, too.
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