I got my license in September 2018 at the age of 22 years old. I then, thanks to the generosity of my family, got my first car in October. So far so good, right? Mobility: DUN! Adulting: PROGRESS TO LEVEL 5!
Guess what? I did not have my car 11 days before getting into my first accident trying to drive to Detroit by myself. Days before that, I went to the gas station, where half of the pumps were out of order and drove up on the curb. Hard. I had knocked the gas pump out right out of its holder. When I sheepishly went inside, the clerks wrote down my name.
“Well, if that pump shows up defective, we’ll know who’s responsible and we will be giving you a call.”
To be honest, I very much despised myself at this point. Talk about a freshman mistake amiright!
But truly, Freshmen get a bad rap. I’ve never understood the scorn that is occasionally braced against them by everyone else.
Random person walking in a congested hallway: UGH. Freshmen everywhere!
Me to myself: Well, today is orientation. There is one school building. Freshmen will be present. Yes. They have nowhere else to go…
When I got to college there would be a sort of performative angst over the fact that these fresh recruits didn’t know where the heck they were going, where their classes were, or what the dorm names were. Basically, just frustration over the fact that these folks were new—ignorant to the collegiate landscape, but what the heck else would they be if not ignorant, searching, eager, and freaked out. They’ve literally transitioned from one life space to another.
Meanwhile, it has been 7 months since I graduated from college and I’ve spent a lot of time picking myself a part, expecting myself to somehow know what I’ve never before experienced before. In short, I’ve been unfair to myself.
I somehow have had it lodged into my mind that at some point, I’m going to stop feeling like a freshman. I’ll stop asking so many questions. Stop making so many blunders. Stop allowing my eyes to look like saucer disks every time someone talks to me about taxes and healthcare.
But maybe that’s not the point. I will be a type of Freshman forever. I think the vulnerable part of being a Freshman is that pretty much everyone else is aware that you know the equivalent of untested opinion.
I’m not going to get into the whole “college life vs. real life debate” because I don’t believe either journey is any less real.
But what is inherently real is the the willingness to learn, to admit when I’m wrong, and then do something about it. Freshmen or not, I’ve fudged up plenty of times and it gives me calm to know I will never to be first nor the last to do so.
*raises glass* Freshman forever!