Yeah, college, I mean, it was great. I was living away from my family for the first time ever, like every 18-year-old does when they pack up their life and move into a tiny 12×12 cinderblock room. I really became a person in college, and I developed likes, and dislikes, and I made hordes of amazing friends, and I still talk to a lot of them today. My college friends are still my closest friends, even though we live all over the country now.
But, I never really liked college at the time. It’s sort of hard to articulate, but college was just never my thing. I never want to say I downright disliked it, but I just found college aggravating. I majored in something you don’t even need a degree to do (Cinema Production). My parents were convinced from the start that cinema was not a proper career path, so they insisted I needed to minor in something ‘practical.’ I started off an English minor…. and then became a screenwriting, scriptwriting, creative writing quadruple major. I graduated one credit shy of actually getting an English minor, because I flat out refused to take Poetry II (it met at 8am. No.). So, I spent four years of college learning how to write lightning fast dialogue… and not a whole lot of other stuff. I think I took a philosophy class once. But even those details are hazy.
College became trite. I had senioritis for four years. I was incredibly impatient. I wanted to graduate right away so I could get on with my life. I saw the outside world as a place I wanted to join so desperately, and instead of focusing on the here and now, I was always focused on the future. I never thought about what I’d be doing in an hour, I thought about what I’d be doing in a year. Where would I be living? What would I be doing? What would I wear to work? Who would be my friends? I was ready for college to be over. I didn’t need to take an entire semester of Nature Writing 102, because what was that ever going to do for me in the real world?
By the end of college I was just so mad at college; I felt like it was keeping me from everything and I was the first person to run out of graduation, hooting and hollering because I was freeeeeeeeeee! I peaced out of college so fast, I’m surprised I remembered to pack up my dorm room. However, I graduated, and I didn’t have a job. No one had saved a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me, so I had to go find something to do. I took a job I didn’t really like, grew to like it, and stayed there for three and a half years before I left. Spoiler alert: that job had nothing to do with cinema production in the least bit.
Now, four years after graduation (which, ironically, is the amount of time it takes to get a college education) I honestly find myself wishing that I could go back. I was literally chomping at the bits to get out, but now I kind of long to sit in a dining hall for an absurd amount of hours, maybe from lunch to dinner so it only counts as one meal for the day. I know a big part of the reason is simply because I miss the people who knew me at my best, and those were my friends in college. I was my best person in college, and now I’m not. My best friend is currently 3,079 miles away and three hours behind me, and neither one of us really gets the concept of time-zones. I’m at a point in my life where now I feel lost and confused and, like, wtf am I doing? and I guess I want my good friends back. The friends who would sit with me on the floor in my room until 3am just because we could. The friends who once staged a German disco dance party because one of them bought a green strobe light because WHY NOT. The friend who would get coffee with me every Thursday at 4pm; now I need to take a 3 hour train ride to get coffee with him.
I was so anxious to get out four years ago, and four years later I wish I could go back. I want to go back to college and be excited about that day, and not about two years later. I know what happens two years later, and let me tell you it’s not that awesome. What would have been awesome is one last day laying out on the quad in the sunshine before entering into the Real World. I know there are no such things as time machines, because Future Rachel would have already warned Past Rachel of this situation.
If you’re reading this I hope you weren’t like me. I hope you hadn’t already checked out before graduation. Because you can’t go back, something I’m learning the hard way right now. Once college is done, it’s done.
Also because college is effing expensive. No one should have to pay for that twice.
Rachel Paige is an aspiring Bond Girl, but in reality she’d probably just be a really unorganized Moneypenny. She is currently enrolled at the University of Netflix, perusing a Masters in Binge Watching (MFA.). Rachel is literally always hungry, and likes to live tweet TV shows if you’re into that sort of thing at @rachmeetsworld
(Image via Universal Pictures)