College and the Dreaded Fear of Missing Out

We’re always fed expectations about what things will be like in school.

High school’s supposed to be filled with plenty of fond memories. After all, this is a place where eternal friends are made. Aside from the memory of having a lady that I had expected to become a best friend suddenly lash out when she clearly needed emotional support (and the residual anxiety that anyone I care about nowadays will quickly and gladly do the same) I hardly have any memories, good or bad. The first best friend I’ve had for a decade and the only friend to stick around in the long run was met near the end of my time in high school, and we only grew close about a year after we graduated.

Tacoma Community College had a “wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am” mentality to the point where campus closed down around 3, so I don’t blame them for nothing much of interest happening in the 2 years I went there.

I cannot recall date-wise the time in which I had formed my initial impression about UW. Was it during the summer? Spring?  What I do remember is that for a fraternity house party, it was startlingly enjoyable. The plethora of alcohol, beer pong, booming large speakers, and drunken dancers were still there, mind, but it was still an environment of understanding and genuine friendliness. Politely declined offers for a cigarettes were met with praise for my healthy lifestyle. No eyes were batted for my preference for ice tea over booze. The high school acquaintance that invited me in the first place was too drunk or drugged and surrounded by friends to chat with, but the other partygoers proved better company. Even my nervous tic to ask the nearest harmless-looking lady in the vicinity if I could follow her around out of shyness was met with kindness and patience. I left the house around 2 A.M., expecting plenty of happier, hopefully sober times ahead.

The last hurrah of my time in college has begun — three out of the four classes until I’m graduated have been registered for, and I’m already dwelling on how I’ve had so little of the fun that we’re practically promised to come with college.

My hour-drive distance from UWT and constant automotive problems have limited how frequently I’m around. My days on campus are limited to Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays (the latter two days mostly filled with classes). With the smaller, more intimate campus comes a lack of fraternity houses to try to drink up that surprising hospitality I enjoyed that one night in Seattle. Eerily similar to high school, the one genuine friendship that looks like it will last once I’m out of here just recently came to be, but I’m just happy that there’s at least one.

I know I shouldn’t place too much currency in how our culture claims things will be, but I still feel I’ve missed out on more than a final three-month sprint could reclaim. Washington’s flaky social climate seems to be the other half of what could have led to all this, but it pains me that I can’t just turn back time and make sure that a certain dweeb in Adolescent Psychology wasn’t just faking a friendship.

It poses the question: Was there even much that I was missing out on here?

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