26 March 2017

the truest moments of human connection it is possible to experience as a university student.

In honor of prospie weekend. I don't believe I have any high school aged readers, but I implore my readers to please send this to any high school students they know; these are the facts the brochures will not tell them, because college brochures are universally useless.

1. That feeling when you bump into someone, and neither of you is at fault, or both of you are, and the two of you apologize in the same breath, as though you're both speaking with one voice. You'll never feel as connected to anyone as you do in those moments.

2. The immense tenderness you feel when you see someone in the dining hall reading a book you love, and say nothing.

3. The camaraderie of the midnight fire alarm, especially in the winter. No one's actually frightened, because everyone knows that all that's actually happened is that a freshman has tried to make popcorn, but everyone is underdressed, and everyone is either furious or resigned. Someone was in the shower, and everyone else is telling the story of the time that one time alarm went off when they were in the shower. There really is true camaraderie in that: solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris, to coin a phrase.

4. The communal joy of the first really warm day—not the first day without coats, I mean the first day when nobody's even wearing sweaters, and you're so thrilled at the sight of strangers' bare arms—people have arms! you'd forgotten!—that you think, Is this what it was like to be Walt Whitman? The answer is yes.

5. One time last semester I was walking to my 8:30 in the rain and an elderly education professor I'd never met shared his umbrella with me, and it was kind of wonderful? I'm not sure how universal this one is, but it was really nice. What a great guy.

6. Night class.

7. Eight AM Greek reading class.

8. It is genuinely possible to experience a great deal of true comradeship working in theatre, but I'm not gonna talk about it. If you've experienced it you know what I'm talking about and if you haven't any description will be obnoxious to you, because theatre people are never more obnoxious than when they're trying to tell you their feelings about the theatre. The thing about artists, right, is that we all believe the medium we work in is the highest form of human creativity, and the thing that makes theatre people different from the rest of us is that they don't bother pretending otherwise. They're not really that much more up themselves than normal artists, but they're infinitely more upfront about it. (I'm... kind of a theatre person? It's Schrödinger-y.)

That is all; those are all the times you will feel human connection in university. You will also read some really good books.


  1. glad to know it's not all culture shock and transition tears. ;)