I think what I’ve been learning about myself is that I like familiarity; actually, not only “like”, but need and crave it to thrive off of. In college, the prime of my life, I always liked going to The Harp every single Thursday for karaoke. I liked having people just at our house drinking, didn’t matter if they were just there the night before. I like being around people I know. I’m usually okay with doing most things as long as I have a group of people I like surrounding me. That’s what my life has been missing these past few months in New York. I’ve made friends and I’ve hung out in groups on many occasions recently, but these nights are few and far between. I miss living in Amherst at 1136 and constantly having not only 5 of my great friends around me, but also the masses of people who would stop by or having other friends on campus with their own houses full of people I could barge into. At the time I didn’t appreciate it enough, I got sick of having so many people in the house, someone always wondering where I was. I was sad and upset then too, wallowed in my own problems a bit too often, but looking back, I’d still give anything to go back to college, having so many people I love around me so often, living away from home but not so far that my dad couldn’t come pick me up for a long weekend and drive me back that Tuesday morning. I can never have that back and it hurts to have to accept that. Any ways I’ve tried to emulate that life since college have just fallen short.
In college, you’re sheltered, but you still have a sense of independence. At least, that was the case for me. I had the freedom to live away from home with friends, but the money I had to spend for rent and for fun was budgeted for me monthly. I just had to make sure I didn’t exceed, but that didn’t seem to be a problem. I was free to go to class if I so chose (I usually chose to, I was always paranoid about falling behind) and my one job was really to just get my assignments done. Being in college feels like real life and the real world at the time, but once it’s over, you realize you were wrong. The real world doesn’t allow me to just drink and watch marathons of Bravo shows with my friends on random weekdays. Work exists, full 8-hour days of work, and not showing up means not getting paid and falling behind. It really was a dream life, and even though during senior year I already knew I never wanted to leave, I still didn’t ever think it was real I would have to. The real world for me was a harsh reality of sparse babysitting, drinking too much but not enjoying it nearly as much, and bouts of depression. My daily routine included waking up and either babysitting or sitting in my bed, thinking about how I was doing nothing with my life. College is supposed to prepare you for be real world, but really, all it did was transport me somewhere far away from the real world, to an imaginary land that seemed like it would last forever, only to have the rug so rudely pulled out from under me. I’m still reeling. It’s hard being constantly nostalgic and always wishing I was somewhere else, but it’s also something I can’t control. All I want is to be content in the present, and it seems impossible to do that when what I’ve been through in the past already seemed so ideal.