My College Semester (So Far)

I’m not a good storyteller. I feel that that needs to be made very clear to the reader before proceeding further.

From what twelve years of public education has taught me, conventional narratives are apparently supposed to have a beginning, rising action, a climax, falling action and a denouement, but I am of the opinion that this line of thinking restricts creativity. I started this account because I’m not a very social person, so I prefer to let my thoughts out and keep them stored somewhere rather than internalizing them and unintentionally let them negatively skew my perception of the world. I can guarantee that ninety-nine percent of my stories will not have a resolution; some of my publishings may be fictional stories, others may be rants, others still may be incomprehensible gibberish, but I will write them gladly, knowing that I have finally found a place where I can let go of all my negative emotions and relax. I believed Aristotle called it “catharsis.”

My college semester is going…alright. I never feel absolutely spectacular at any given moment, but I never feel absolutely terrible either, so I suppose that’s an accomplishment over high school. During my high school years I always felt like no one was out to look for me. I was expected to figure things out entirely by myself, and it was generally understood that things were only going to get worse as you got older. Something inside me finally snapped on the day that I graduated from high school this past June, and for the first time that night, tears fell freely down my face for the first time in years. I had not allowed myself such a release since high school started, and those tears were a mixture of happiness at the thought of finally having gotten through the nightmarish hell that was secondary education, and sadness at the thought of wanting to have achieved so much more than I did. In all the twelve years I had attended public school, only one friend had emerged, and that was from the last year. No one else that I had known at that point remained in contact with me once I left for college. I had never felt so alone before I left. What I wasn’t prepared for, however, was how much worse this feeling was about to get.

My roommate’s cool, and he’s generally been very helpful in helping me get through the rigorous Chemistry and Intro to Computers for Engineers courses. He is the only person, however, with whom I interact on a daily basis. I’ve lost count of how many people told me that college was the place where you’re supposed to discover yourself, and find out what your interests are. I have always been very interested in the different aspects of filmmaking (in fact, the college essay that got me accepted into Rutgers was on the subject of my passion for cinema as an art form!), but I realized that there are simply no clubs that devotes itself to analyzing films to the extent that I do. This realization makes me feel incredibly alone, and I feel that no one will ever be able to empathize with me.

It wouldn’t feel as bad if I didn’t have other obscure interests, either. My favorite TV show is the classic Monty Python’s Flying Circus, which was the greatest discovery that fourteen-year-old me had ever made. I also like bands like the Velvet Underground, Begnagrad, Radiohead and Pink Floyd. No one I’ve talked to has either heard of them or liked them. This causes me to feel as though I’m an anomaly with dissimilar tastes that can never properly function in contemporary society. Many people have told me things such as, “Oh, it’s just a phase!” or “Just go out and talk to more people!” I don’t agree very much with the former statement, but deep down I know that the second is correct. I just don’t seem to have the drive to talk to more people, mostly due to a feeling of inadequacy and fear of rebukes.

My self-loathing is like an ever-amplifying feedback loop. I have a low opinion of myself, which in turn affects how I talk to other people, causing them to avoid me, making me feel even worse about myself, thus fulfilling and perpetuating this ugly cycle. I’ve never had the courage to speak about this openly to my parents or anyone else with whom I’ve ever been close (which is why I suppose that, being the coward I am, I’m typing out my innermost feelings for complete strangers to read), and I’m afraid it’s getting worse, and I don’t know how to pull myself out of this cycle. I’m worried that no matter how hard I try to sacrifice my personality for the sake of pleasing others and making more contacts, it will only end up ruining my life and I’ll end up wasting this one chance at existence that every human is granted and dying cold and alone.

But my grades balance all that out, so I suppose I ought to be doing fine.