I feel a bit of an over share coming on. I hope that's not actually the case. It's just...it's odd to find myself living almost on campus at my alma mater.
(Does anyone use that phrase anymore? It sounds so old fashioned but significantly less clunky than "where I went to college")
College was a good time for me. Much better than high school. At the time, I thought high school was pretty damn good, because just about anything was going to feel amazing after the horror that was middle school.
In fact, I have many comics I drew in middle school, many of which involved a giant can of maggot spray that I used to get rid of the popular girls who hung out around my locker—but who ignored me, of course. The comic also featured an ongoing murder investigation in which I tried to prove that the janitor had murdered the paper mache giraffe in the school's courtyard (there really was a giraffe). If there had been web comics at the time, I think mine would have been pretty awesome.
College was when I stopped saying yes to every single activity I could possibly be involved with, and started actually trying to tell stories. I was not very good at it. I could turn a phrase. I could make something SOUND like a story. Prose Writing workshop would always start out with lots of positive comments about my story, then would devolve into a mess of criticism, once the smoke cleared and everyone began to realize that my characters' were in dire need of some fleshing out.
Mostly because I was still in need of some growing up.
I was a mature kid, all in all. But I hadn't experienced all that much. College was where I had to stand on my own, without my twin sister there to tell me when I looked good and when I had said something stupid. I remember walking around in HORROR the first couple of weeks, constantly convinced I had something in my teeth and that my hair needed adjusting. Melissa had been my mirror for too long.
I always felt that college was when my story started, when I finally loved myself enough to believe I was the protagonist. That was a big deal—accepting that I might be worth a story all my own. Of course we all are, we each get our own story and we're each writing it right now. But it takes some of us longer than others to realize this.
Now I'm back where I started, so to speak. My confidence is stuttering. I need to rediscover that feeling that the world is rolling out in front of me, a thousand paths all begging for the tread of my feet. Maybe there are only a hundred paths now, I've made some choices since then. But still, there are paths to walk, and places to go and this is just another beginning.
But sometimes, I forget.