College : The First Year

I decided to go back and take a look at old writing pieces I had done. I should have known that it was going to stir up all kinds of feelings. The one’s that really struck a cord with me were the ones back when I was in Brooklyn attending my first year of college. I saw pain and sadness in what should have been an exciting experience. I was born in Brooklyn and lived there for a few years until I moved to upstate New York and then to where I currently live. Going back to Brooklyn wasn’t really my first choice but I ended up going, thinking that a change of scenery might be a fresh start as I left high school. Up until that year I had always dreamed of moving back to the city. I wanted the city life so badly. This was going to be my chance to get it. Leaving was harder than I had thought it was going to be. I remember sitting my younger siblings down and telling them how I would be living there during the week and I’d come back on as many weekends as I could. I ended up coming back for every single weekend until I finally got the chance to come home for good. It was a huge adjustment for me. I was going to live with my dad because the school was two blocks away. It was the perfect setup – so I originally thought. Don’t get me wrong. My dad did everything he could to make it the best possible stay for me. I knew he was happy to have me with him again. There’s a part of me that wishes I could have made it work for his sake because I know that even though he doesn’t admit it that maybe I hurt his feelings by leaving. He had nothing to do with my decision to go back. I remember going to classes that first day with a kick ass attitude. No one there knew my name. No one knew anything about me. I could be something new – something better perhaps. I had a sense of power as I walked down the streets towards the new building I would spend a good portion of my time in. It was so different. There were escalators and security checks and crowds of people. My tiny town attitude had been ripped to shreds by the fast paced movement of this new environment. I won’t go into each day of the year but it was pretty much the same routine. Wake up, go to class, come home, cry and fall asleep. Some days were a bit peppier with the help of some new friends I had made but even their kindness could not replace the longing of wanting to be back home. I remember one night I was curled up in bed watching as the headlights of cars reflected across the beige room walls. I wanted to love the sounds of the city so badly. The shuffling of night time dwellers walking down the street, the occasional honk, the click of the stoplights changing. Instead of loving it I grew to hate it. I missed silence. I missed complete darkness. I was lying there with tears rolling down my cheeks as people went about their business outside. There I was in a place that most can only dream of, something I had dreamed of ever since I left and all I felt was sadness. I felt guilty for not wanting to have anything to do with it. I had finally gotten the dream and I wanted to wake up. To make matters worse I had three very judgmental family members living within seconds around me. They added a bitter taste to this nightmare I wanted out of. Every move I did or didn’t make they were there to add their two cents. They didn’t understand. That was their life. Not mine. I didn’t grow up in their surroundings. I wasn’t accustom to this way of living. I had only been a young child when I had left. Everything was great then. I really hadn’t gotten a sense of the rudeness of people or how easy some are to judge others. At least I hadn’t been aware of it at the time. The final straw for me was when I was coming back from my weekend away and I was on the subway platform. This little lady started laughing and pointing at my feet with her cane. I looked down to quickly realize that a waterbug was making it’s way across my flip flop wearing foot. I was horrified and to add to my shock, others joined in and started laughing at my discomfort. I didn’t find it funny. I didn’t find it amusing. I found it awful and shocking but also the perfect push to find my way back home. I decided right then and there that I was leaving after the semester was through. I had already made it through the first one. I had done my time. I gave it a shot and I was beyond done. Not many were happy with my choice and most even went out of there way to pull every last guilt trip or scheme to make me stay. Maybe my reaction to a suicide talk was a little less than what they had expected to hear but I knew that nothing was off the table when it came to preventing me from leaving. I was having none of it. On the day of my last final I threw my test on the desk, shoved through the sea of chatter and fled to the train. I was really fucking happy to say the least. There is really no other way to sum up just how damn pleased I was to be on that train on that sunny day. Things felt brighter and I felt like a weight had been flung off my chest and I was going home! I had my crappy knockoff suitcase and all I could shove into it and I got off that train like I was the queen of everything. 

Part two coming up….

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