My freshman year of college was filled with some pretty depressing realizations. After all, like so many high school kids, I'd dreamed of college as a magical place where all petty, small-minded behaviors would magically float away. It would be a place filled with people who "got it." The halls would be teeming with bipolar, bisexual girls looking for three-ways with a deep and sensitive boy like me, and being a David Bowie fan would not be cause for suspicion. When I got to school, however, I found that none of that was true.
Still, college taught me a lot, and I'm not talking about all the things I learned as an English major: Dorothy Mermin explained the inherent anti-Irish elitism in T.S. Eliot's "Sweeney Among the Nightingales," Gordon Teskey lectured about his theory on William Shakespeare's "project of interiority" while being on the receiving end of Indiana Jones-esque flirtations from the girls in the front row and Dan McCall delivered flawless creative writing instruction. But the most important lessons I learned from college, I learned indirectly. Life lessons delivered to me by my first immersion in a shitty microcosm of humanity.