People go to college for many different reasons: to get an education, to get a job, to get out of the house, to please parents, to “have a future”, to have fun…
But none of those are the main reason I went to college.
I went to college for the late night talks.
For the talks about friendship, love, insecurities, failures, regrets and worries. About the tough stuff, the funny stuff, and everything in between. Where I meet people, love people, and understand them over a Cookout milkshake at 2am.
That’s what I love about college. I like the classes, the activities, the clubs, the professors. But I love the late night talks. I love the vulnerable discussions, the heated arguments, the passionate rants.
College is supposed to prepare us for the “real world”. And what better way to do that then to talk to people about real world stuff, in a situation where everyone couldn’t be more real? At 4 am, no one has their life together. At 4 am, no one is trying to be somebody they’re not. At 4 am, emotions are, for once, normal.
I go to college because it’s the first time in my life when every night I can have talks with amazing people about real life stuff.Not about calculus. Or microbacteria. But about divorce. And sexual assault. And current events. And crushes. And emotions.
I still get an education: I’m learning about topics that matter. I’ll still get a job: I’m becoming more and more personable by the minute. And I’m still having so much fun.
Finals start next week, so I’ve been thinking about highlights of my first semester in college. It wasn’t the first time I got an “A” on an assignment, or the first big party I went to, or the cool forum in which I participated.
No, the highlights of my first semester were sitting outside the steps of my dorm talking to a friend for hours about her troubles, walking around the quad while venting about boys with my best guy friend, going on a midnight run and telling my running partner my life story, rubbing my friend’s back as she cried at 3am about how she just wasn’t going to get it all done.
The highlights of my semester were when I grew, as a person and a friend. The highlights of my semester were when I really learned, when I felt vulnerable yet empowered at the same time. The highlights of my semester were late night talks.
And these highlights are what I’ll remember forever. I won’t remember the name and date of every education reform in the last 70 years (and I can google it, anyway). I won’t remember the outfit I wore to some trashy party. I’ll remember the people. The people I listened to, the people who I let listen to me, the people with whom I talked late at night. I’ll remember their worries and their regrets. I’ll remember how much more beautiful they looked when they let themselves be vulnerable. I’ll remember the emotions. I’ll remember the late night talks.