Well four weeks have come and past, freshers week has come and went, and through it all I’ve emerged my bag intact, a stationary supply as weak as water and about as much knowledge of politics and economics as I do on how to speak Hebrew. All things considered; college is fun. I’m waking up each morning and meeting new people, studying subjects I actually enjoy instead of force feeding myself one more geography essay, and I actually (don’t) know where I’m going this year (in trying to find buildings in UCC I successfully located Galifriey, the Chamber of Secrets, a rather peculiar wardrobe and Wonderland).
Meanwhile, when I’m not inside the Booles frantic for that one last slide on something long and psychological (which I won’t begin to spell as my dyslexia will have a field day) or staring into space in the students centre in the morning pontificating the inner most meanings of my tea cup (COULD be talking to girls. But it turns out that, “Any milk?” isn’t a chat up line much to my best efforts), I’m stacking shelves in Tesco in my first proper part time job.
On paper: I’ve a job and I’m in college doing a REAL degree with REAL career prospects and a REAL job that’s not me at my keyboard thinking I’m Stephen King. I’ve been in college a month and already I feel old, which raises a question which I’ve thought about since I was 10… HAVE I GROWN UP?
Back when I was 12, there was something about growing up which seemed to freak me out and confine me to my bedroom up until about six months ago. For years instead of going out and actually living and going out there and exploring the world I spent my days trapped inside the cosy panels of the new issues of Spider Man and Batman. While most of my friends were out talking to girls and testing the boundaries; there was me at home with 100 or so issues of Avengers trying to figure out the best continuity for them and a way that would make most sense for reading. I also wore black, listened to bands named Slipknot and seemed to have some problem with society and life which eludes me to this day. Looking back I can’t help by cringe at my vain attempts at protecting my innocence and handcuffing myself to a ghost.
Even when I repeated last year and spent a year in the College of Commerce; the trudge to nineteen began. By trudge; I mean it was a one legged man limping through a quagmire blindfolded. Throughout the year I began basic traits of nineteen; what not to say to girls (turns out making constant Liverpool jokes and expressing your disdain towards Dundalk FC isn’t the best way to open up), what guys to for fun (pints, pool and random road trips to Fermoy!) and also how to do a good leaving cert*.
In college now; it’s not that scary. With every new goal I get (job, college, writing stints) new challenges and responsibilities prevail over and sense of complacency and each day I’ve to fight that little bit harder and harder to keep up with the pace.
If life is a race, then I’m getting fit and joining in. No point in strolling in behind, you’ll only miss out. Give me a few more weeks and I could be doing a few marathons even.
Now… if you don’t mind, I’ve a small bit of training to do there. Thanks again as always,
PS: Always hold onto who you are. Don’t cover up what you are with masks and false promise. In between everything sure; you’ll still see me in my Spider Man tee shirts, watching Doctor Who and listening to metal. I’m not trying to change who I am, but adapt to the pace.
*Little bits in moderation, do what you can, don’t over stress and take public holidays seriously and not say you’re going to study and end up stumbling in the door at midnight after supposable two pints.