“haha, I guess you matured,” one of my friends texted me on a saturday night.
That comment actually spurred from a talk I had about my romantic relationships. The fact that I’m currently talking to a boy that isn’t one of the most complicated people I’ve met, who doesn’t have a history so loaded with clashing colors that the tension becomes its most terrifying yet alluring element.
Studying abroad got all the restless out of me.
I walked into Cal Berkeley freshman year, cynical and bitter at the academic system filled with sheltered 18-year-olds who cared too much about their own merit and pride to fully respect any of the academic knowledge they’re supposedly pursuing.
I half-half-assed my way through freshman and sophomore year, bouncing from extreme happiness and passion for all that I’m learning, partly scared to death that I’m not doing enough, partly determined to not have my humanity swept away by being a “student” and a cog, and partly hating the system that puts more emphasis on how to be good cogs than a respectable human beings.
I wanted out. I wanted to express myself and not give a care on who I offend. I wanted to take risks and get a few bruises, just so I can laugh and and check that off my bucket list. I wanted to take risks and walk on the edge of something. I wanted to see what else is out there in this thing called “life”.
(Insert mind-blowing European adventures here.)
So here I am, sitting in a library, hugging academia. I can’t say I love it, and I definitely can’t say being a student is my ideal dream. Now, I’m not constantly wanting out. There is no sharp split between my thoughts, my actions, and appearances.
There are significantly less incidences where strangers talk to me presuming one personality only to be extremely weirded-out by what I show. Something about meeting so many strangers for the short time periods made me accept and readily show who I am.
Of course, this college world. to be in Berkeley is pretty amazing. To be 20 and live in the Bay area is pretty amazing. To have “too many things to do”, all of which is potentially an opportunity for a future, is amazing. Instead of the rest of the world where many would die to have something to work for (and something to believe in), our stress comes form too many opportunities and not choosing the optimal one. Like, what?
Here we go life. Hi social structures. My name is Jenny Tang, and I am starting to be willing to work with you now.