Okay, so I meant to post this about three weeks ago after driving to school. But seriously, the first three weeks of the semester are the best… how can you expect me to take time off from binge drinking and partying to write on my boring blog? Anyway, just pretend I wrote this three weeks ago…
As I was driving in my brand new 2008 Ford Focus (which for an American car is pretty damn good… trust me I was surprised as well), I said outloud, “Play song: Going Away to College.” No, this isn’t an advertisement for Ford (which by the way has an outstandingly low APR for a short time… get your Ford Focus today). Anyway, the 1999 Blink-182 song came on, and I realized this would be the last time that I would hear this song on the way to college. I got to thinking about what kind of memories this song has evoked over the past four years and it is quite interesting.
As I listened to this song on my iPod in the back of my parent’s car, I definitely had some mixed emotions going to college. I was excited, but also upset, as I was leaving a girlfriend behind at home and leaving the memories of high school as well. I thought I was going from the top of the heap, being a cocky, loud mouthed senior in high school to the bottom, where I would be a scared (still loud mouthed, however) freshman. I didn’t want to leave the comforts of Fair Lawn, New Jersey. I loved being at the top and didn’t want to leave my perch. However, I also knew that these feelings were inevitable and that everybody said college was the best four years of your life. We’ll see about that.
Once again, in the back of my parent’s car, listening to that same 1999 song, I thought to myself, “I need this.” I was pretty much a mess from the summer after a bad break-up. I knew what college would offer: parties, fun, a lot of video game playing and hopefully not another freshman fifteen (for me it was the freshman 8.5). College was my escape from the horrors that were contained in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. I needed college and needed that escape. I wasn’t excited for college. I was more desperate for college.
In the back of the same car, listening to the same song I had listened to for the previous two years, I was finally excited to go to college. I probably had the greatest 10 months of my life. Thoughts of Israel, New Orleans and my renewed enthusiasm for the Jewish community made me excited. I couldn’t wait to see the people I considered my closest friends. I couldn’t wait for the parties and the memories. I finally felt at home, despite the fact it took over a year and a half to achieve. The bad memories of Fair Lawn, New Jersey were in the very distant past and the new memories of College Park, Maryland were in the very near past and future.
Driving by yourself is a very interesting experience. Especially for long distances. You get a lot of time to think and reflect about life and the near future. For me, I thought about the good times I had had for the past two years of college and the amazing friends I met and the amazing experiences I had. I also thought about the future. A year from now, I would be in the real world. Maybe in law school, maybe taking a year off. Either way, it wasn’t college. It wasn’t having all your close friends living within a couple floors or buildings of you. It was the real world. And because of these thoughts, I got some mixed emotions coming back to school. Sure, senior year was going to be amazing, but I still have a lot to accomplish, whether it be socially or academically or professionally. Because of these mixed emotions I started to feel the pressure of the next 10 months. I wasn’t a kid from Fair Lawn, New Jersey anymore.
I realized, after thinking about these memories, that I had come full circle. My freshman year, I had mixed emotions and now as a senior, I was feeling mixed emotions again. I guess it is fear of the future. Whatever those mixed emotions were, I still look forward to the future with some excitement but also with a little sadness, realizing that my childhood is a very distant memory, but also realizing that my life as a real adult person is just beginning.