I don’t really think college is the best time of your life. College is okay. You don’t have to do all that much to successfully achieve a liberal arts degree, and if you have at least a modicum of self-control and are generally an intelligent person, you can spend a lot of time getting fucked up without consequence, aside from an occasionally low bank account. In this sense, my lament is not over missing the “golden days” of college. Meh. It’s not about the pressures and demands of the “real world,” either. While I’ve not exactly entered this place, I’m not afraid of it — I embrace the idea of being self-sufficient, and I look forward to just getting by while cutting my teeth. Really, I’m excited for the future, and the present’s fine too. I’m driving from Kassel, Germany to Brussels, Belgium right now on a month and a half tour wherein, so far, the trip has paid for itself. Being a musician rarely pays off, but sometimes strikes even, if you’re lucky.
So at this point, it may be questionable what I’m even distraught over. It isn’t that things are harder. It’s that everything post-college is immediately and inherently different. In college, everything could be looked at through a four-year scope: friends, lovers, lifestyle choices. I never wondered where my friends would be in a month, a year. They were there for the same four years as me. Now, I wonder which of my friends will take a leave of absence from my life — for an internship in New York, freelance work in Los Angeles, whatever. While these things are worthy of celebration, the after-effect for me personally is a friend I’ll see much, much less.
Relationships have changed entirely. I have always been one to take relationships very seriously, looking toward the long-term, but relationships in college often seemed limited to four years, max. However bittersweet it was to know your lover would likely head in a different direction after graduation, it was the reality of college. In the month and a half since graduating, I haven’t put any effort into new relationships. This is in part due to the fact that I lived with my parents for two weeks, and have been in a different city every night since (which is a bit too transient for love), but also because I’m terrified that there will be no definitive crossroads at which you sit down and say “college is over, we have to part ways” or “I love you immensely and will follow you anywhere.” I love commitment, but I’m afraid of being in the early stage of a relationship and not knowing when commitment will be required because there are no more definitive time frames — only the future.
My most prevalent concern is becoming stagnant. In college, there was always something to look forward to, always something to aim for. A great party, a miserable term paper, going home for a week — there was always something in sight. I fear post-college is an endless tunnel. The only thing I can think to do about this is to keep moving. The only thing I can think to do is keep living and try to progress and change whenever possible, as frequently as possible. Stay in touch with friends, visit whenever possible, be open to love but don’t obsess over it, make a little bit of money, stay alive. I guess Blink 182 said it best, “I guess this is growing up.” Or maybe it was Kid Rock with “get in the pit and try to love someone.” Either way.