Originally Written 12.21.2000

I was just thinking about hanging out with one of my friends a bit more. He went to a local university this quarter and absolutely hated it. When he first told me this, I jumped to the conclusion that it was just a cop out. He never really enjoyed school too much. However, his disdain for university life was very similar to what I am experiencing. That is, being fed up with frat boys and other sheep and being bummed out at the boring, homogenous culture that many universities offer. Luckily, my friend is going to the local community college until next fall and then transfering down to a much more liberal and hopefully more interesting school in north carolina.

That brings me to another interesting issue. When I talked to him about his experiences at college. He spoke with great disdain about the drinking scene at his school. This really took me aback. I mean this kid was one of the most hard-core drinkers I knew. Talking to him more, however made me realize a difference between kids who I grew up with and were friends with and came from Carlisle and most kids at universities. There was a good deal of drugs and alcohol growing up, and a lot of people, including many of my close friends, partook in these things. I think, however, coming from a small town, most kids who do drugs and alcohol do it because there really isn’t a whole lot that one can do. When the community could care less about the youth, when school gets boring that’s what some people turn to. The people I cared most about however, in my mind, never seemed to lose sight of the fact that there were better things to do than get smashed. There was skating, and music, or just crazy random fun of the kind that only really bored kids from small towns can come up with. When you go to college, you run into kids who drink for the sake of drinking. You run into kids who have convinced themselves that using drugs is the coolest thing in the world to do and who define their identities by that activity. The thing is though, most of these kids don’t know the first thing about substance abuse. I know kids who drank every day throughout the latter part of high school. I know kids who bit off a bit more than they could chew when it came to drugs. Most of the kids I know at college are just playing. They don’t know the first thing about drugs or booze. What they miss is that drugs aren’t something you do for the sake of doing. They’re a last resort. Even my friend who is by no means straight-edge recognized the stupidity of people drinking their way through college. Particularly for me, I mean, I go to school in a big city with a million and one things to do, and all a lot of college kids want to do is go out and get drunk or high. What the fuck? Why pay big bucks to go off to school to do something that you could do for next to nothing in a million and one rural towns across america? I don’t get it. College is supposed to be a time when you grow, when you have new exciting experiences in new strange places. When you have a chance to explore unencumberred by parents or teachers. But it seems like so many people are oblivious to that fact. It reminds me of when I went on a high school trip to europe. Some of the kids were trashed for most of the trip. I didn’t understand it. You paid thousands of bucks to go see this continent with such great art and such old, exciting cities and all you want to do is someting that you could do for 5 bucks back home? Its fucked up. I’m someone who hasn’t had a lot of exciting opportunities. I think of kids who went frequently to exotic places or went of too prep school and I am jealous. I have been around enough, and have had enough opportunity, however to understand that the world is a big, exciting place and that one ought to soak up everything they can in their short time allotted on this planet. That’s why I get so angry when I see people squander what is one of the few times in their life that they can be largely free doing something so banal as drinking or doing drugs. I just don’t get it.