Normal: What even is that?

I don’t think I’ll ever have the “quintessential college experience” whatever that may be. It just won’t happen. I’ve had the startling realization and have come to terms with it. It’s fine. Kind of. Sort of. Maybe?

I’m into my third year of college. I am now a junior in college. What even is that? When did this happen? Who decided I was old enough / mature enough / smart enough to get this far? I want to go back to elementary school with its coloring, its book reports, its multiplication tables. Instead I have to endure digital media projects, analytical essays, and statistics. Not fair.

But I have noticed, of late, that my college experience isn’t on par with those of most of my friends from home. Is it because I went out of state? I went to a private school? I’m on an urban campus? I didn’t rush? I don’t know if I’ll ever be certain, but I know some of what I’m missing.

I’ll never go to a college football game because my school doesn’t have a football team. I won’t get to tailgate outside our stadium, because we don’t have a stadium, let alone cars. I’ll never get to enjoy porch drinking, because there are no houses on campus, excluding the tiny town-houses that have no porches – just stoops. I’ll never attend, at least as an undergrad, a university with a male population of which the majority are heterosexual. (Yes, I’m including my study abroad university in that. That’s one thing they don’t advertise that in the guidebooks, let me tell you.)

But it’s more than that. It’s also the fact that I didn’t get to drink PBR or play beer pong until I was hanging out with my brother over summer vacation. Whether that’s because there doesn’t seem to be room for beer pong at school or kids tend to drink liquor, I can’t be certain. I never shotgunned a beer until hanging out with my summer coworkers because, on the off chance we have beer at school, it sure as hell doesn’t come from a can.

What else am I missing out on? Is it because of where I go, or because of who I am and whom I chose to hang out with? If you have any insights, send ’em my way.

Not that I don’t enjoy my college experience; I do. For the most part. GW has its positives: the DC location, dorms down the street from the White House, school-year internships on the Hill, awesome authors and press secretaries and politicians that speak on campus. It can be wonderful, of course, it just doesn’t strike me as conventional, typical, or dare I say it, normal. Maybe when I get back to GW I’ll found a beer-pong league and sponsored flip-cup tournaments? At the very least I’ll take a road trip to Athens, Ohio to enjoy the Spring festivals. I’ll take normalcy, whatever that may be, wherever I can get it.

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