The first time I went to school, I was pumped. That first day of Kindergarten I had a new pair of gellies, a fresh plastic backpack from Kohl’s and I was ready to start learning. This excitement is not how everyone reacts to the first day of school though. When my brother Paul started Kindergarten, he cried all the way to the bus stop and begged my mom to let him stay home. I had no idea where he was coming from, because school was awesome. We read books, learned about the letter people and watched Bill Nye the Science Guy (BILL, BILL, BILL, BILL) during science class.
But now, at 22 years old, I’m in the same mindset as five-year-old Paul. I’m starting my last year of college, and I’m kicking and screaming my way to KU’s hill in May. I know this sounds premature, but the world starts smacking you in the face as soon as you start your last year of college.
My friends who plan on attending graduate programs next year are already applying and visiting and crying about picking the right future for themselves.
How are we supposed to plan our future when we have things like going to every bar in Lawrence before we graduate to worry about? A girl’s got to have priorities.
I try to push away the idea of having a life past college, but a few weekends ago I met the man who changed everything for me. I was covering Busker Fest in Lawrence, a festival for street performers, when I met this guy:
Just another street performer who balanced a sword on his tongue and fit his body through a toilet seat. After his show, I interviewed him and learned that he’s not just some downtown Lawrence weirdo, he’s a professional weirdo. He’s from Philadelphia and travels around the world performing his act. He went to college, studied art history, is married to a schoolteacher and has made a career out of dancing to Bon Jovi songs while taking off his underwear through his red jumpsuit.
So everyone, I’m here to tell you, we’re going to be okay! If this guy can make a living off the tips of 8 year old boys who find bathroom humor funny, the rest of us are going to get into med school, find the right city to live in, get a job and cope with leaving KU and the last four years we’ve known to love.
We have 8 months left to be college students, and I’m going to get down like I did back in Kindergarten, when I knew all you needed to have a good time was a turtle neck and sweater vest.
“The thing is, we didn’t have to hate each other for getting older. We just had to forgive ourselves for growing up.”
The Wonder Years