Fitting in in college
I went back to college as a mature student in my twenties. Never before had I felt old until I spent time in the Arts block in Trinity. (Also, never had I seen so many orange people. It was like the aftermath of some terrible Sunny D explosion.)
English students can be very intense. Very arty. Very interesting with their outfit choices. . Sometimes they cry -usually while reading. I would catch students alone in one the small gardens reading (bonus points if it’s Ulysses) photogenically and utterly engrossed (extra bonus points if up one of the trees). “I’m in Trinity. I’m wearing tight jeans. I’m smoking a pipe. Ironically.”
Now do not think I’m against Trinity students or intense artiness, far from it. I wanted to be one. I wanted to be intense and have views about stuff. I wanted to care about issues and be… earnest. However that was not possible. I don’t care. I’m apathetic and lazy. I’ll just go along with my friend’s points of view and beliefs because I assume they’ve considered them better than I have. I look at politicians and protesters and students in tutorials and think “It must be exhausting having all those opinions.”
One day I forgot my glasses and was squinting at the wall trying to see the time. I looked at a young man with an auburn afro and he flinched. Slightly concerned, I made the same face in the bathroom mirror and discovered I looked like an angry monkey crossed with Gollum. Like the troll of the arts block.
I now feel like perhaps I was just having some sort of quarter life crisis - the sudden and shocking realisation that I was no longer 16. I remedied this by buying leather and bleaching my hair platinum blonde. I once wore leather thigh high boots to a history lecture with a dress and leather jacket and grunged up eye makeup. I went from Arts block troll to Arts block (down on her luck) Hooker. Fitting in is hard.