Every school year begins with a large amount of online articles published about what freshmen should do to make their first year of school a successful one. When I was a freshman, I didn’t read any of them because I thought that I was too cool to take advice from anybody.
But looking back on these last three years of studying at Slippery Rock, I’ve realized that I’ve made plenty of mistakes. The more I’ve thought about it, the more it all goes back to one character flaw that I’ve carried with me throughout my college career.
So I’m going to tell you a quick story and then give you a single piece of advice.
To begin, let me tell you an embarrassing fact about myself. When I first came to Slippery Rock, I was a virgin. Not in the traditional Oxford Dictionary definition of the word, but rather in the weird theater kid definition of the word. I was a virgin in the sense that I had never seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show before.
For those of you who have not lost your Rocky Horror Virginity Card, this doesn’t sound that bad. If you go to a showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show and admit that you’ve never seen it before, they write a “V” on your forehead with marker, so everybody who looks at you will know and silently judge you.
Of course, I was stupid enough to admit that I haven’t seen it before. So there I was, a little freshman on my first date in college with a large sharpied “V” on my forehead. Luckily, nobody seemed to notice. Until after the movie was over, that is.
People started filing out of the theater and my date and I were waiting for our turn to exit the aisle. That’s when it happened. Somebody called out to me in a voice that was erotically feminine but with a hint of masculinity.
“Hey, big boy,” she said. “How about you and your girlfriend come on over to my place tonight?”
I turned back to see who was talking to me, and for some reason, I didn’t just turn around and look at her face. Instead, my field of vision started at her feet and slowly moved up to the face.
The image is burned into my retinas. Sometimes I still see it when I close my eyes. I’ll share it with you for your own reading pleasure.
She was wearing sparkly bright red high heels. Her feet were about the same size as mine. Legs were long and muscley, and seemed to be recently shaven. It should also be noted that she was ridiculously pale. So pale that I wondered if she had ever been outside in sunlight before.
There was no Adam’s apple on the neck. Her face was too covered with makeup to know for sure what was being hid. The hair was long and blond, but seemingly wig-like from my point of view.
I’m no fool. I’ve seen women before and I’ve also seen men. At this point in my life I thought I was good at differentiating between the two. But there I was, standing completely dumbfounded. I couldn’t tell if this was a real woman or a man dressing up like a woman.
Before I could even answer the person, my date laughed and pulled me away without even saying a word. I never saw that person again.
I have so many questions that I’ll never have answered. For example, was that a man or a woman? If that was a man, then why did he have such a voluptuous chest? Why did she/he want us to come over? Were we going to play Monopoly?
During your time at college, you’re going to have questions that you’ll want to ask. You’ll have things that you want to learn. Your time at college is the best time to learn and ask questions.
There might be people that pull you away from your quest from knowledge. Don’t let that happen to yourself. You’ll end up like me. You’ll be bitter, full of unanswered questions and, you’ll wish that you could just dance through some sort of timewarp and relive those experiences again the right way.