Tuesday, April 28, 2009

it's not the next four years; it's just the next one

guess what i did.
go on.
okay you’ll never guess.

i sent in my deposit to sarah lawrence college.

i’m going to college.
i’m going to sarah lawrence.
that doesn’t get any less
scary by saying it more.

i sent in the deposit yesterday.
and then,
yesterday afternoon,
i checked my e-mail and
there was sarah lawrence
with a revised “financial aid statement.”

okay, okay,
i thought. they’re
giving me more money.
okay, okay,
maybe this is the right thing.

one thousand dollars less.
can they do that?
take away $1,000
from what they gave me before?
i know that when talking about college tuition,
when you can’t possibly pay anything to begin with,
the money seems like play money.
and one thousand is nothing.
and i hate thinking about money
and talking about it
and writing the word.
just writing it feels
and materialistic
and greedy.
but if i’m going to go to college
then i have to accept that part of the world
paying-too-much part.
the being-in-debt part.
the worrying-my-parents part.
the using-up-all-our-money-and-sorry-little-brother part.

look if anyone out there reading this
has any sage advice,
i would love to hear it.
am i doing the right thing?

my mom’s friend called our house the other day. i answered the phone. “hello?” “hi, emma?!” “yes..” oh no, who this? “it’s ____.” “oh hi!..” “so where are you going to college?” “um, i’m thinking sarah lawrence.” “OH, emma! you’re going to be a sarah lawrence girl?” “yeah, i guess so.” “wow.” “yeah.”
i like this woman. she’s always been really cool. she’s a writer. she’s kind of like an aunt, in the good way.
adults are proud of me.

when i tell students, my peers, all they say is “isn’t that a girls’ school?”
no, i say.
it’s, like, 75 percent girls.
end of conversation.

will this feel right?
i think, when i get there it will be like summer camp.
i’m good at adapting, i think.
i’ve never had a problem with going away for weeks to wisconsin to sleep in army tents and wake up every morning and look out at a tiny lake that isn’t a hazard to my health.
but i’m a bore at summer camp.
i become someone i don’t want to be.
i’m really dull. because i don’t like the people there.
i like the nature
and i can deal with the people,
but i’m not an interesting person.
i’m a wallflower
and i idly count the days until i’m back amongst the skyscrapers and bicycles.

and i’m scared that that will be
i don’t want that to be college.
i want to be interesting and creative and smart and loved.
i want to fit in and i want to be on the fringes.

please readers,
speak now or forever hold your peace.

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