Wind, Space and Other Assumptions by Carla

In a recent conversation with my parents, my father pointed out to me that I’d been very excited to start school here last August. He wasn’t joking.  I made plenty of visits here over the summer – exploring the town, flooding my camera with pictures and even sneaking up to the third floor of my residence hall to see my room. Of course, I couldn’t resist taking  a picture of the desk clerk who snuck my mother and I up there. She looks nervous in the picture. It was all pretty funny. Now, don’t get me wrong—I still find parts of college life exciting.  I’ve just gained an insider’s perspective of it. Five months in, I’ve busted a few myths and attacked some false assumptions.

In one of my classes, Critical Thinking About Great Ideas, my professor had us read and analyze the novel “Ishmael.” Asked to list any problems I’d found with its argument, I responded that it relied on some pretty big assumptions. Sometimes, for my personal entertainment, I think back to high school, to my distorted ideas of college, and I pick out all kinds of assumptions.

Like my parents remember, I could not start college fast enough. I had sectioned off a room of the house sometime last June and piled up everything I wanted to take with me to Bowling Green. By August, the pile was overwhelming. They asked me the obvious: “Will you really have that much space…?” I ended up bringing a third of it back. I was misestimating college life from the get-go. I’d seen no issue with packing my Sterilite dressers, my pillow chair and every book, shirt and lamp I’d ever purchased. I was wrong.

‘Pre-college’, I had some great ideas about dorm life, classes, and the perfectness of it all.  Once here, I got a nice crash course in reality.  I learned some fun lessons.  Among them: I do not like communal bathrooms.  I cannot sleep on a lofted bed.  Foods that require an oven do not turn out well in the microwave.  If my computer crashes, I’ll never get it to a Geek Squad.  It turns out that Bowling Green doesn’t have those.  There’s no escaping the bone-chilling wind. Some professors are sincerely scary.  When college starts, some relationships end.

Fortunately, this account isn’t all bad. Being here has also taught me that a lot of my worst fears were never necessary. For instance, textbooks are unreasonably expensive, but I can sell them back. When it’s ten degrees out, the shuttle will take me to class. If I forget my key, there is such thing as a lock-out key. My car has never been scratched. I’ll never run out of meal points. Beds can be bunked. The recreation center is free, and so are the math tutors. I’m quite sure I’ll be visiting the Math Lab. Also, my favorite restaurant delivers. As it happens, I do have access to an oven.  There’s really no escaping the wind—but I guess I’ll live with that one. College is inundated with assumptions, but I think they make things interesting. I learn something new all the time.

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