Opinion | College cycles and coming full circle: what we think we’ll know we do not really know
Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 16, 2012 21:04
Life is full of full-circle moments. In college, we have four years to create, shape, destroy and rebuild relationships.
A lot of times, the emotions we claim to feel are grandiose, disproportionate and just a shade too dramatic to be entirely true. Swearing off men forever, promising a smack down the next time you see a particular girl uptown — we declare things like this often.
There are people and events in our lives that affect us in a variety of ways and we occasionally respond more strongly than a given situation warrants.
It’s not to say every emotion we feel is false.
It’s that no emotion feels more acute than at the particular moment you first feel it.
What we lack a lot of the time is one of my favorite words: perspective.
For three years this column has been trying to get students to see and understand there is no single perception of reality.
Everything we see and feel and do falls on a spectrum.
As per my usual, I’ll now pepper today’s theme with personal stories.
The first one involves — and this is no surprise — a guy. This particular guy was in my life for entirely too long, and for all the wrong reasons. We’ll call him Shmryan.
The physical and intellectual attraction was not capable of offsetting the emotional and verbal abuse both of us directed at the other.
Things got ugly.
And being a girl, every one of my friends knew about Shmryan.
Uptown, there would be dirty looks exchanged and hisses of expletives sent from my friends in his direction.
It was immature, annoying and a large part of the depression I battled with at the end of my junior year.
But eventually I hated myself and the situation enough to block his number and cut him out of my life.
Where is Shmryan today, you ask? Sitting on my couch watching an episode of Mad Men.
We are no longer seeing each other; instead we’ve reestablished a friendship that should have been in place from the start.
Now instead of getting excited and nervous when I see he’s texted me, I’m sometimes annoyed he wants to hang out this much. It’s one of the weirdest full-circle moments I’ve ever experienced, but I’m not mad about it.
There was a girl I was very close with during my first year, but that friendship fell apart for reasons I still don’t entirely understand.
Again, childishness and stubbornness overshadowed the more pressing need for open communication channels and general maturity.
It broke my heart I would see her uptown and realize I knew nothing about what was going on in her personal life.
But three years later, we are back in each other’s lives and repairing the damage we had done to our friendship so long ago.
Something my best friend and I established a long time ago is a simple, but decidedly valid truism by which you should go through college: never make or believe in demonstrative statements.
The truths we are so certain of can be turned on their heads in a college minute.
There are people I knew I would be close with forever, but I don’t have their phone numbers anymore.
There were guys I hated so much that I knew I wouldn’t be able to speak to them again, but here they are in my living room.
The dynamics between young adults are tumultuous and turbulent.
We feel things so passionately at this age, most forms of perspective get swept away in a sea of angst, alcohol and arrogance. None of us are done growing emotionally and psychologically.
As I sit here just a handful of weekends from graduation, I feel comfortable in making a few statements about my advice, but I’m open to the idea even these will change.
Never believe a situation is entirely resolved unless you truly want it to be.
Never think you got the last word in. Always have faith in the idea people come into our lives for good and bad reasons, but every one of them will teach you something about yourself.
Sometimes you just have to circle around them a few times before you get it.