College sucked. The end.
Oh. You want more. Okay. Um…
I spent the time between graduating from high school and starting college doing nothing in particular. Really, I don’t remember. It must not have been a big deal. I was probably locked in my room playing video games the whole time. What else would I be doing? The real world was a terrible place. My room wasn’t.
Got my grants together and finally it was time to begin a new chapter in my life. Orientation was interesting. They tested us for placement. I was never strong in math so I ended up starting with basic Algebra but I nearly screwed myself with the English test. I was one question off from required Honors English. By this point I was lazy. I wanted to avoid extra effort if at all possible. They also wanted me to sign up to be an English tutor, something that I avoided like the plague as well. More personal interaction with strangers? No thanks!
The personality test that they had us take was really, really strange though. It was based on that letter system. I think it’s called Myers-Briggs? Anyway, my test came back 80, 20, 80, 20, based INFJ? I can’t really remember the last letter. Though the main reason I remember it is because they singled it out. They pretty much held it up in front of the group as such a strange result that they were going to have to actually look into how it happened. No one got such even results. The numbers were always different. Mine though, being exactly the same across scores like that, was apparently amazingly rare.
I didn’t have the heart to tell them that I purposefully threw some of the questions, specifically asking about social situations, because I didn’t want to look like a complete weirdo. And yet here I was being held up before my entire orientation group as some kind of weirdo. Did that backfire on me or what.
After that we got the chance to, briefly, chat with a counselor about our classes and major. We didn’t really go over anything other than to state the fact that I would be taking a lot of math and computer classes. What really sucked was that I had to take an introductory class my first semester so I wasn’t even going to be able to take anything towards my major until the second semester. All the other required classes seemed to be ensuring that I was never going to be able to actually study anything having to do with computers.
Classes started shortly after that and I very quickly realized something: College is high school but where the teachers care even less about their students. I can’t stress that enough. Outside of my Algebra teacher (who’s class I got an “A” in) none of my other teachers seemed to give a damn about anything. Did you show up? Some cared, most didn’t. PoliSci was basically daily lectures completely ignoring the $70 book we were required to purchase with three quarterly tests and a final. I passed with a “B”. The intro to computers class was such bull I don’t remember what grade I got in that class. And they let you take bowling for your PE credit, which I took happily as it meant less physical activity. I don’t remember my grade for that class either but the teacher literally looked like a bodybuilder and seemed very uninterested in the class, as if he was being forced to do it, much like the rest of us. He was terrible at teaching as well as my bowling skills seemed to degrade over the course.
I had some other classes that semester as well. I took acting hoping it would help break me out of my shell. It didn’t. For our midterms we were required to do a monologue for the class. I don’t know what happened but I actually volunteered to go first. I think I was hoping to get the terror out of the way as quickly as possible. Backfired again as we were required to perform our monologues a second time on video in the same order. Ugh…
Our final involved me having to do a love scene with a girl. I don’t know how to approach this but I’m not sure… Okay, I’m gay. Period. I have zero attraction to women. Add in the fact that I’m absolutely terrified of sex and interpersonal relationships and things went down hill very quickly. I spent weeks avoiding going to class so I wouldn’t have to work with my scene partner directly. I learned my lines and there wasn’t really any blocking but there was a kiss, something that simply wasn’t going to happen. Somehow I had walked myself into a situation that I had spent the better part of my life trying to avoid at all costs. Sure, this was an elective class but it was still college. This was the real world now. I couldn’t just avoid it, right? My future was at stake here.
We managed to pull off our scene without actually kissing. The teacher kept telling us how it was this innocent little scene, the most innocent he had ever given out. I just wanted to vomit constantly. I got a “C” in that class.
Now what else did I take that semester… Algebra, PoliSci, Bowling, Intro to Computers, Acting. Ah! Speech. Another required class. Why, I don’t know. I think I got a “C” in that class as well. I’m actually amazed that I passed it at all. We lost our teacher a few weeks into class (cancer) and ended up with a replacement who pretty much changed the rules. The original teacher required you to perform, I think it was four speeches in class and one final. The new teacher passed me even though I think I only ever performed three in class and the final. I was even given extra credit for performing unprepared when another student didn’t show, hence why I think I got a “C” rather than outright failing.
I had a strange incident with my first Speech teacher, the one who developed cancer. We were performing an activity in class, something that I think was supposed to increase our self-esteem. He was trying to teach us how to juggle using handkerchiefs when he suddenly asked who else was left handed. In a class of nearly forty students no one else but me was. It was very strange and kind of surreal. I mean, I know left handed people comprise a much smaller subset of the population than right handed people but really, only myself and the teacher? I ran into another similar oddity during the next summer when I started (but dropped) another computer class in an attempt to try to get a bit further toward my major.
So that was my first semester. I think it was the fall of ’97. Jesus did I hate writing that number. Twenty-one years ago and I still feel trapped in the same place. In the same cage. In the… I’m the same. That’s all I can really say. I’m the same person. I’m just the same.
I can’t deal with this right now.