Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Freshman year of life


Do you remember the show “Felicity”? It was on the WB for four years beginning in 1998 (same year that launched N*SYNC and Britney Spears and “Dawson’s Creek”). I used to love it. I was obsessed the first season and by the time the fourth season came out I was in high school and far too busy and social to make time to watch it. In the beginning my Mom would watch it with me because it was for high school-ers and I was only in Junior High, so she wanted to make sure it was appropriate. It was one of the first primetime shows I ever loved. It made me want to go to college. It made me dream about college. It was what I began to hope college would be.
Well, lately I have been watching the first season and have become re-obsessed with it. I love it. It is so interesting to watch it now on the other side of college. It is fascinating to compare the show with my own college experience and to remember what I thought college would be like. The two can’t even be compared. It is no wonder that college was a disappointment. With shows like “Felicity,” and even “Gilmore Girls,” it is no wonder that college was a rough time, not to mention the fact that everyone else in American society tells you how great college is and how much better it is than high school.
Anyway, “Felicity” is a great show. I always hoped for the group that she found at NYU. Always imagined studying late into the night in the library and finding my friends in the cafeteria and befriending my RA. Things that are the same in the show as in real college life are that you figure out what you want out of life, how you want to shape it, who you want to be, what you want to change. You separate from your parents step by step. You find friends who resemble you, or the you who you want to be, or maybe separate from the friends you realize you don’t want to become. You try and figure out a major and choose one that you actually love and not that was decided for you (or by you) in the fourth grade. You fail sometimes and you laugh sometimes and sometimes you even feel like you might be home. I had some good times in college, met some nice people, did some things I never expected, and even loved my major.
But, I am glad and relieved it is over. Life is much better now (and so is grad school). I sort of feel like this year is shaping into my “freshman year of life.” I have a “grown up” job, responsibilities there and people who think I am competent. I am still in school, but feel appreciated and noticed and supported by my peers. I am “finding myself” (for lack of a better phrase) through counseling (the best gift to yourself ever, by the way). I have a “grown up” apartment, a new church, and a new group of friends who I am beginning to get to know one weekend at a time. All of these things are what I expected in college and, therefore, make me feel like I am a “first year adult.” Sounds lame, I know, but it is honest, and that is honestly all I know how to be.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i talked to a fellow clause contemporary of yours in DC. she had the same sentiment about college not being the "best years" like is so often portrayed.

you know, rory didn't really have it that great in college as far as a core group of friends. we had it better at the clause :)

*my first blog comment --Karen