I’ve been told that an inevitable part of growing up is accepting that the world is a place that you can only survive in through hard work. I’ve also been told that Mayan prophecies were based around 2012 and a crystal skull, so really, no sense putting too much credence into what others tell you.
In regards to the first thing I’ve been told, the one mostly lacking in plotholes and Shia LaBeouf, I suppose that it’s mostly true, and that going to New Zealand has been a revival of sorts, with me growing up all over again. First, there was the arrival, a period of naïve confusion in which I was guided through everything and didn’t even know what jandals were. Then, there was the wild youth, in which I went and did everything that I could, not even considering the consequences, mostly just happy to be alive. And finally, I’ve aged to the point where I’m back in college again, trying to balance my time and reconcile the fact that everybody else is busy because they’re trying to do the same thing.
Last weekend, I spent my Saturday night curled up with my laptop. I had taken to my bed, because these days, it’s too cold to work anywhere else. Next to me was a pile of notes and a bag of peanuts, several cans of energy drink located somewhere behind me. Rhythmically and sensually, my fingers raced across the keys, each click and clack a step closer to composing what was certainly going to be the best essay about the American Civil War of all time. Breathing heavily as I cited my sources, I dragged the cursor up to the save button, gently now, not too rough. That was it. It was over. I was free to lie back, catch my breath, and bask in the afterglow of an APA style paper with properly formatted footnotes and three body paragraphs of beauty.
My evening thus freed, I stood up from my bed, stretched my legs, and immediately got back into bed again. The heater had turned off, turning my room frigid once again. Those barrel fires always seemed popular in less scrupulous area of the city. I considered bringing them back into style, starting in my room.
But, as they say, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, forever limited to conversation topics such as quarterly earnings and water coolers, whatever those are. So, in the spirit of proving to the world that we were still fun individuals, able to jive with the latest trends, we went to trivia night. Our team of Americans, almost entirely motivated by the promise of free food, was vastly unprepared for the slew of questions relating to New Zealand. After two questions about rugby and one about cricket, we accepted that maybe, just maybe, the people next to us using Google were going to beat us.
Little excursions like this were what kept me sane when the promise of a weekend day trip, a holdover from my New Zealand youth, was far away. I’ve picked up a few hobbies to help pass the time, most notably guitar, my on again, off again love dating back to my elementary school days. Going to the gym has also been helpful, though I do have to brave the stab-fest that is the path to College Hall.
Let me explain that. The trail up to College Hall, decked out in autumn reds and yellows during the day, is pitch black at night, many of the streetlights having long since gone out. We were told that we should only walk on lit paths, lest something bad happen to us. Evidently, we’re never supposed to leave College Hall.