College is Weird. Not bad, but weird.

This is how I imagined my first day of college going:

INT. CLASSROOM- DAY

Warm natural light pools in from the windows. Outside, the sky is clear and the trees sway in a soft wind. No one seems to notice the beautiful day, however. Instead, they all stare down at their desks, looking up every once in a while to smile nervously at their fellow classmates. The room is full of people from different walks of life. There are recent high school graduates, eager to begin life in the real world; there are people in their late twenties who opted to live a couple years on the edge before settling down to get a degree; there are older people, life-long learners trying to keep their minds sharp. Though no one in the room is exactly the same, they are all looking for something, be it success, money, or just the satisfaction that comes from getting a college degree. They all have goals, and though they may seem far away right now, they can’t help but feel like they’re closer to their dreams now than they ever were before. 

Enter KIANA! She waits in the doorway a minute, braids blowing in the soft wind I mentioned earlier, allowing her classmates to notice her awesome might. 

And notice they do!  A powerful energy rolls off of her body, like she is the Avatar…or a Hilton. Her outfit clashes, but in a way that is artistic and not at all repulsive. She knows this because she saw it in Seventeen magazine. No matter that earlier that morning, her mother told her she looked like she was running away to join the circus! That is but a distant memory now. All Kiana remembers is that picture of Beyonce doing exactly what she is doing now and KILLING IT.

KIANA

(Whispers)

I am Sasha Fierce.

Her classmates lean in towards her, but are unable to make out what she said. An incredible sadness fills their souls at being deprived her beautiful words. They begin to feel as though they have been hungry for years, and the only thing that will make them full again is her intoxicating voice. They stare at her in awe, all of them thinking the same thing: Who’s that girl? Kiana smirks as though she can read their minds and sashays over to an available desk in the front row. She then turns around in her seat to face her peers, one eyebrow raised.

KIANA

Did somebody say “Knowledge”?

The room erupts into laughter, though no one is sure what is so funny. It just feels right.

***

This is how my first day of school really went: 

INT. CLASSROOM- DAY

The air is thick and soupy- the students feel as though they are living in a bog, wading through the mud-like humidity to get to their classes. Despite the fact that the smell of teen-sweat is prevalent in every corridor, KIANA tries to stay optimistic. She sits alone in a classroom, silently eating from a large bag of grapes. Slowly, students begin to trickle into the room. Kiana is disheartened: several of them are already locked in deep conversation. She wonders how she can make friends when they already have cliques, and stares sadly down at her desk. 

Suddenly, a boy slams a pile of books on the desk next to hers. He stares intently. On his shirt is a picture of the “Jaws” movie poster, except instead of a shark, there’s a cat, and instead of “Jaws” it says “Paws”.

PAWS BOY

(Inquisitively)

Question: me and my friend were just talking about this.

(Paws Boy nods his head towards a very scruffy looking boy. Not scruffy like Wolverine. Scruffy like Pig Pen from “Peanuts”)

If you could be any fictional character, who would you be?

Kiana’s visibly brightens. She had been searching for a friend, and one manifested itself right in front of her! She thinks carefully before answering. 

KIANA

Probably, like, Gollum? Or maybe Patrick Bateman? It’s kind of a toss up.

Paws Boy and PIG PEN look away, disgusted. They do not try to speak to her again. Kiana returns to her grapes. 

***

This is me. This is who I am. I am the sort of person who thinks it is okay to compare yourself to Gollum or Patrick Bateman on the first day of college. In my mind, these answers made perfect sense. I only meant that, like Gollum, I had a very specific goal and I would stop at nothing to see it through. I think this is an admirable attribute to have, whether your dream be becoming a writer or finding the one ring. I said Patrick Bateman because college is a whole new experience for me; I’m still trying to find my place in the new environment and, like Mr.Bateman, I sometimes feel a little lost. While both of these answers made perfect sense in my mind, it didn’t even occur to me that some would hear them and envision me as a weird, cave-dwelling, freak with a penchant for murder

Same. (source)

Same. (source)

Needless to say, I’ve spent a lot of time alone this week, which has been really, really weird. I’ve grown so used to being constantly surrounded by my friends. I’m just now realizing that it takes a very special kind of person to hear me compare myself to a murderer and just listen quietly. I’ve taken that for granted until now.

I’m sure that eventually, I’ll meet new people who can see the humor in some of my more uncomfortable statements.

Or maybe not?

But, hey! If worse comes to worst, I can always take a cue from Gollum and start talking to myself.

Kiana.

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