College’s Social Secret

I’ll admit it: I’m not exactly a connoisseur of all things decidedly “cool.”  My hobbies consist of playing obscure Japanese dancing games, channeling my chakra, and reading books.  Paper books.

I blame it on the fact that I’m no longer in college living among my peers.  Campus life is a social cakewalk, given the variety of goings-on from which to choose.  At any given time, my school offered an activity, show, club, meal, or party–and I went to a school in the middle of a forest.  With the lake and outdoor extracurriculars to choose from, it may as well have been sleep-over camp.

I remember the semester Reel Big Fish came to play in our gym.  For $2 a ticket with a student ID, we were ska-punkin’ it up.  Next door in the auditorium on a different occasion, I watched an excellent musical rendition of Farenheit 451. Across the way, one could expect the glass-blowing hut to be emitting a warm glow as art students blasted the radio and invited audiences to observe.  On the other side of campus during Spring Weekend, I found myself embracing my inner five year old and slip’n’sliding down the hill outside of senior dorms.

Laughs abound, to be sure, but at the time I envied the social plates of urban students.  I dreamed of myself in New York City, dining in famous restaurants among my peers.  Of course, on our college budget, the only fame we were likely to afford would be that of the city’s giant bagels, but the options seemed limitless anyway.  Trains instead of trees, buses instead of beaches; unless it was summer session, the former options were key in the bitter winters that eclipsed the spring and fall semesters at my school.  Trudging through six feet of snow (uphill both ways, naturally), made getting to classes and social events that much less appealing.

Location, Location

I came to the conclusion then that location is key.  After my 65th round of cards with classmates during the great blizzard of ’07, completely unable to take advantage of the cancellation of classes, I decided it was time to transfer to somewhere warmer.  My financial situation had other ideas, however, and I spent the remainder of my college years alternating between winter coats and rain jackets on my forest campus.  The “what ifs” still spin through my mind from time to time.  What if I had transferred successfully and found Broadway fame?  Or might I have taken Lady Gaga’s place in the pop world?  My singing resembles the sound of a chainsaw, so, no.  Probably not.  But the city still seemed to offer the possibility of anything happening.  A night on the town with friends, in my mind, had the potential to turn into a thrilling chapter of the memoirs.

A Little Help From My Friends

To its credit, though, my school inspired some great friendships that I cherish to this day along with the memories of our hijinks.  Despite being illogical, I always pictured my new social life in an urban school to somehow include the friends I would have left.  I come to conclusion today that location isn’t the key so much as the people with which you share the experience.  There’s the great college secret to a successful social life: make good friends who will kick it anywhere with you, be it in the woods or the concrete jungle.  And don’t forget the cheap beer.

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