There’s a quote from Excellent Sheep that I think is particularly relevant at this time; I’m sitting at a hostel in Hamburg at the start of 2022, writing about the life I had more than four years ago - at the start of my freshman year of college. (Now nearly 6 years).
From the introduction:
“The system manufactures students who are smart, talented, driven - but also anxious, timid, and lost, with little intellectual curiosity and a stunted sense of purpose: trapped in a bubble of privilege, heading meekly in the same direction, great at what they’re doing but with no idea why they’re doing it…Most of what you come across in college will inevitably fade from memory. What’s left over, precisely, is you.”
It feels strange writing about the part of me that - for all purposes, I’ve left behind. But at the same time, I think it’s important to document my experiences - however abridged they may be.
Is this a part of me that I want to have left over? No longer writing this as a disillusioned recent graduate, but now a passionate graduate student (until my next bout of disillusionment).
And so, here are my reflections on social life at Dartmouth.
It’s strange writing about my social life in the years since graduating, because all that’s left are the Snapchat and Instagram anniversaries that remind me of a former life - a previous version of myself. That I’m basing these memories off of.
I remember I gleefully brought all of my bartending equipment - all the special peelers and strainers and Boston shakers that I had, hoping to hit it big at the freshman house parties that I knew were to be the rage. But aside from some pretty Snapchat photos, I felt used. There’s no differentiation between cheap beer and a crafted cocktail for drunk college kids.