I spent my first year of college in the wrong place.
Too big of a party school for my liking. Too much drinking and too many drugs and too many slackers skipping class to play ultimate frisbee in the quad.
But instead of making a concerted effort to connect with new friends, I hibernated in my dorm room. And by the time second semester rolled around, I officially decided to transfer.
That had to be the answer, I thought. Moving across the country to a smaller school will make all my problems magically disappear.
Unfortunately, when I started my sophomore year at this supposedly different school, nothing changed except the zip code. There were just as many parties and just as many students getting high and skipping class.
In fact, I remember seeing a hooded sweatshirt the window of the bookstore that said it all.
We’re a drinking town with a college problem.
That’s when I realized, oh my god, if my college experience sucks, it’s my fault. The onus is on me. No matter how comforting and soothing and safe it feels to spend my time watching television in my lonely apartment, pining for a peer group to somehow materialize, sitting back and waiting for people to be friends with me is a losing strategy.
Time get out of my private little shell and engage with the world.
And so, every day, I stared making a special effort to deepen my direct participation with the environment around me. I attended free events and got involved with campus organizations and raised my hand for volunteer positions and made new friends with interesting people I never would have met otherwise.
And for the first time in years, I didn’t feel like an alien staring into the window. I belonged.
Meanwhile, people were drinking and smoking and partying just as much as they did before. But because I rehabilitated my mindset, it didn’t seem to bother me anymore.
Perhaps there should be another shirt in the window that reads:
If everyone you meet is an asshole, you’re the problem.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you finally ready to get out of your private little shell and take a look at the world?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.
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