We’ve all been there - last day of high school, fantasising about the kind of groups we’d be involved in, the kind of things we’d do; how we’d have the coolest yet sensible group, how we’ll meet someone, fall in love, and how it’ll be an adventure. And yes, it is. Often glorified, and romanticised heavily by students who haven’t been here, and professionals who miss easier times, it is an adventure.
Though it is glorified, it is pretty much a dump yard. This is where you experiment - a dumb hairstyle, your first one-night-stand, your first love, the first beer, your first smoke, first weed stick. This is it. This is where school rules don’t apply. A school nerd can be a queen bee.
But in spite of it all, there’s beauty in it. You make mistakes. You know everything that you’re doing, you are going to do wrong. Consider hair - again… too short to be real, or freakishly wrong… an odd electrifying colour. But it’s a choice. These four years are what you have to practice.
But what about after you pass out?
Looking back at old Facebook posts or college yearbooks, looking at those pictures your friends posted ages ago - looking at it and thinking, “was this me?” Skinny (read: poor), glasses, goofy, but with a certain naiveté… and not the same anymore. The masters’ degree and the job kind of robbed that away. You’re not the same. It’s just not like you somehow.
What’s there now? Some weight, dresses that don’t fit, contacts that hurt like hell and a very well-groomed person, far from innocence that used to be there. You don’t regret it, but somehow, you’re just mesmerised by the charm it once held for you. Those old days of wonder. What were they like? You can’t put a finger on it, yet it is clear as yesterday.
My point being, enjoy your experiment as long as it is there. Because, to be honest, you know you’re going to let it go. But just not yet. It’s better to play along than to regret not ever having it.
Truth be told, college won’t come back.
Neither would our chance to play around.
Neither would your weird ass sense of clothing.
Neither would the sense of luxury at 4-o-clock Maggie.
Neither would gossip till 3 in the morning about your first love.
Neither would a movie marathon night before the exam.
College is where all that useless junk is dumped. And it is a beauty as it is. Because though you won’t use it, but still, the charm is too good to let go.