Secondly, prepare yourself for a bitch-fest. It's not REALLY a bitch-fest, but it's so long, it might as well be.
You know, I’ve worked really, really hard to get here. I spent two nights a month out late getting tutoring, test prep, college course prep, all that fun junk in high school—which, I assure you, is so much harder than it sounds. I’ve got over 1000 hours of community service, given up so many Saturdays for college visits and to tutor and filled out so. many. applications. I’ve done interviews and focus groups and mock-ups and career fairs and spent long nights doing homework, writing perfect papers, reading garbage, writing stupid discussion prompts and mock imitations, listened to stupid professors and smart professors who were boring as hell, given myself ulcers over GPA, money, homework, tests, papers, class, work and forgotten to eat for days and still not lost a bit of weight. I’ve learned to lie about how much I can’t stand myself, how much I can’t stand my life and how much I want to just cuss out the whole bloody world for a bit. I’m here. And I’m tired.
I always thought college was made for people like me—people who like to learn new things and talk about what they learned and bounce ideas off each other and read and write and… I didn’t think I would be happy just going to work at a fast food place or a factory or something. And I still think that. But I am so tired. Honestly, I just want to quit for a while. Not necessarily forever, but just for a while. Hell, MAYBE forever. And why can’t I?
I wonder what I would have done if I hadn’t had so many people telling me I had to go to college. I mean, my mother… I wonder just what would happen, what I would do, if I didn’t have to answer to my mother…
Do you think I’d quit?
I mean, I’m not going to quit obviously. I’m just too damn close to quit now. But would I have come if I hadn’t had all those people I would have disappointed otherwise? Would I have? I kind of don’t think so… I think I would have taken some classes, learned to paint maybe. I love to paint, but let’s face it: I suck at it. I would have taken some classes, and MAYBE I MIGHT have gotten a degree anyway, but would I have done it like this?
For example, I wouldn’t live here. I’d live with him, or at home, but probably with him. I’d only have class two days a week. I’d work at a pet shop maybe, or at the post office or the library or the car dealership where my dad’s friend let me work that one Tuesday. It would be simple. When I was at work, I’d do my work, and when I was home, I‘d be home. No freaking out over papers and spending every spare moment reading something I’m not even remotely interested in. I’d read what I wanted and I’d join a book club so I’d have someone to tell it about. I’d spend a few hours doing homework, just a few, and it would be good homework. I’d paint. I’d figure draw. I’d get frustrated as hell, because like I said, I suck at it, but I wouldn’t care, why should I? My transcript wouldn’t mean anything. No more “permanent record” to hold over my head, you bastards. Just letter grades that disappeared as soon as I got them, good or bad.
I could write whatever I wanted. I would join a writer’s club and workshop with them. I’d make my own writer’s club to workshop with. I’d plant some flowers in a window box and hang it outside. I’d plant herbs in a window box outside the kitchen that I’d hardly even know how to cook with. I’d watch TV and movies and play videogames with my boyfriend and not have to stress out about the paper I should be writing or the crap I have a test on that I haven’t read yet or the fucking cumulative exam at the end of the semester filled to brimming with garbage I haven’t even looked at yet and it’s halfway over.
I could just snuggle up on the couch with him, curled up in a blanket and watch a movie and go to bed without having to set a six thirty alarm every day and I could just ENJOY it. Do you have any idea how log it’s been since I just enjoyed what I was doing right then at that moment without worrying about something I had to get done for this damn degree? I don’t. I mean even in high school, I was prepping for this. And high school sucked all on its own.
I feel like…this is going to sound hippy dippy as hell but here goes:
I feel like I spent my whole childhood being forced to go to school so I could go to college so I could get a job so I could keep the wheels of economy turning. I feel like I’ve been—am being—wasted by the “system.” Why does it come down to this? Why are our live so damn boring? I mean this is the plan, right?
Or >College Degree>Work Force>Retirement/Disability>Dead
You see how that can get boring?
Then there are those few people who get to do things differently, either because they are born privileged/pretty, get privileged, or something happens like they manage to publish a shit book or something. Or they’re Bill freaking Gates and they get filthy rich by working out of their garage.
But I’m not going to be one of those people. I mean let’s face it, I’m a small town girl from Alabama who’s, at best, mediocre at a lot of things and not really good at a single one. That “other life” isn’t in the cards for me. So can’t I at least, AT LEAST, do this crap thing MY way? Can’t I do that? Can’t I spend my years doing what I want when I want without having to answer to anybody. It’s not like I want to commit a crime, it’s not like I want to be a bum—although, hey, if someone offered me a private beach on which to bum, I wouldn’t say no. I just want to DO things. I want to travel. I want to go to England and Ireland and Mexico and the Ituri. I want to fake smoke. I want to go to an aquarium. I want to own a bookstore. I want to get married. I want to have my own house with flowers and two dogs and no stinking white picket fence. I want to make things and write things and ENJOY things. I want to be able to drive without having a panic attack. I want to feed ducks. I want to paint things. I want to have a one-night stand (pre-marriage, of course). I want to fucking line dance in a cowboy bar!
I don’t want to die. Really, if I could avoid it, I would. But if I’m going to die, which I am because I have to, then I want to spend the time I have doing what I want, not killing myself over something that doesn’t mean as much to me as I thought it would.
I want to take a break. I want to rest. Maybe, I want to quit.