Ventures Away from the Bubble
I object, Echo editors [although it is witty].
Because I did graduate. And I'm happy about it. Not because graduation was ever something that wasn't a given for me. Not because I couldn't wait to leave Colby's cramped social scene. But because I was ready to move on and am thoroughly content that my college experience is over. By last spring, I felt like I had outgrown Colby. I needed different challenges and different creative and intellectual outlets. (Colby, of course, had different ideas about me hitting autopilot. Between April 12 and American Dreams, it was probably my most challenging semester.)
Ultimately, what I needed was a dose of the real world. Yes, Colby served that up sometimes. But I was always a step removed from it. No matter how many hours I spent cooking breakfast at the homeless shelter or times I went abroad to developing countries, my forays into real life were just that-- forays.
I don't want to sound like some condescending superior jerkface; I am aware that I only cut the proverbial Colby cord five months ago. Clearly, Colby still means a tremendous amount to me; why else would I be writing this column? And I'm not making the trite argument that I've been extraordinarily sheltered for the past 22 years and suddenly I've become aware of the big, scary world out there beyond Mayflower Hill (although things like health insurance and rent checks and having to feed myself everyday have been slightly rude awakenings).
The biggest thing has been the loss of "supposed to." First cousin once removed of "should." I'm supposed to have a rocking social life right now. I'm supposed to have a kick-ass entry level position on the career stairway to heaven. I'm supposed to travel the world and have brilliant adventures.
All of these have recently fluttered through my head like obnoxious moths to the keeping-up-with-the-Joneses flame. But there is no more "supposed to." Not the way I felt it at Colby. In college, in high school, heck, probably even junior high, "supposed to" dominated my life. I was supposed to be doing so much that sometimes I felt more like a human doing rather than a human being.
Now, I'm realizing that there is no "supposed to"-- maybe there never actually was before. But it's nice to be able to do what feels right. I can put a lot of effort in at my internship or I can slide by on the bare minimum. I can go out on a Saturday night or I can chill in my apartment. I can spend my day off at a museum or I can sit on my butt reading the newspaper. I can live where I want, doing what I want to do
It's been revolutionary.
Sure, there's still "need." I need to pay the rent and eat and sleep and go to work.
I also need to introduce myself. Hi, I'm Suzanne. I'll be one of your post-grad columnists. I started working for the Echo at the beginning of my freshman year and was the editor last year. I'm currently doing an internship with the NPR show "On Point with Tom Ashbrook." I like traveling, running, yoga, scuba diving and baby pandas. I dislike the mice that currently live in my apartment in Boston with my roommates and me.
I should go. I'm only supposed to take up about 500 words of this page.