a couple weeks ago i went to visit a very good friend at college. she lives off-campus in a house she rents with four other girls. between them they have two dogs, a kitten and parties every weekend. they're all between the ages of 19 and 24. they all go to college full time. it's a big school. you've heard of it.
my friend gave me a tour of the campus. we hopped in her truck (she drives stick. that always impresses me) and she drove me around and pointed out everything worth seeing, with the kind of commentary you only get from an insider - personal anecdotes, local superstitions and urban legends, which dorms have the best parties, which dorms nobody wants to live in. all the stuff worth knowing. i enjoyed the hell out of the tour and listened with genuine interest as she talked about the place that is, for two and a half more years, her world. and i watched the kids milling around, hanging out, heading to their next classes... and i thought, wow, this actually isn't for me.
i'm the same age as my friend. had i made different choices my senior year of high school, i'd be right where she and most of my other friends are now. and of course i've always wondered if maybe i should have taken that route - it would be easier, for sure, to spend four more years worrying about homework and finals and who's hosting the next kegger. i even dipped my toes in last year. i took classes at a community college while living with a couple of girls who were doing their best to simulate a college environment out of our living room. but it wasn't until this visit that i finally realized that actually, i made the right choice for myself. i may have done it in a sort of clumsy, accidental, half-assed way, but i did the best thing i could do. had i gone to a four-year college, i suspect that i would have left after a semester and been in exactly the same position as i am today, only without the experience i gained from moving to new york city at age 18.
which is by no means to say that i know what i'm doing. i don't. i have no idea. especially right now. for the first time, well, ever, i am at a complete and utter loss. i don't have a job, i'm not in school, i'm living at home... i didn't mean to be here and the circumstances that put me here were out of my control, but here i am and i can't seem to figure out how to get started again.
but at least i can rule out one more option.
next time: i cut the self-discovery crap and tell a wacky story about this guy i know.