By India Taina
“I never fell for that college bullshit. Everyone always tells you that’s the only way to succeed, that you can’t make it, I mean really make it, without that piece of paper. But I think I did pretty okay at finding my way with other slips of paper. It didn’t start off that way, though, I suppose. At first, I was an athlete, in a sport that isn’t too crazy here in the U.S., but is major internationally. So right out of high school, I went abroad and tried out for different leagues and divisions. After a while though, I decided to come back, and I fell into the trap of “You have to go to college if you want to succeed”. Within the first semester, I realized that everything I was learning, I could learn with a Google search. And so that’s what I did. I searched. And I found. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re studying to be a doctor, yeah man, you have to study to be a doctor. But the vast majority of people I know in college, aren’t even close to doctors. There are ways to bend the rules, and college will never teach you that. So find it out for yourself, if you care to.”
“Holy shit, bro. Not only did the shit hit the fan, it hit my mother in the mouth when she walked in the room. When I tell you that the cost of living out here is crazy, I’m telling you the shit is crazy. I graduated early, did all the right things to get my life right, you know, tried going damn near vegan so I could do all this self care trend, but BITCH?! Have you seen how much it costs to walk into a Whole Foods? Notice I said to walk, and not even to shop, okay??? And don’t even get me started on this “at least 3 years experience” mess. I went to school for 3 years bitch, how was I going to get the experience if I was learning what the experience was supposed to be like? Gahdammmnnn these people man. Yeah. It’s no rainbows and butterflies waiting for you baby. Just shit and fans.”
“I loved being in college. I met great people, felt like I was doing great things. I mean, who wouldn’t be happy to be apart of that? But now I feel lonely. I feel like I don’t know where I am supposed to go. Money seems to have changed so many relationships. If you do have it, people act like you owe them something for having it. And if you don’t, well… let’s just say that friends that I thought were forever, are now contextual. The degree that was supposed to take me everywhere, is now only valuable if it has close ties to someone already in the company. And now I feel like I only matter, if I’m being shot at.”
“There are days when I feel that I can’t breathe. I left college for a break, for a chance to get back into my normal proactive self, and instead, I feel that sometimes I have sunken myself deeper into the hole. I came home to receive treatment for my disorders in July, and it is now December and I have yet to see a counselor. My insurance company has left me out, by giving me this huge list of providers who could help me, but when I called, all of them were either not taking new patients, didn’t take my insurance, or literally weren’t even alive. My loans are now in repayment, and when I called in the Summer to see how much they would cost me monthly, the woman, with her bright and cheery voice, told me ‘$88.10 cents hon’. I couldn’t believe it. And I shouldn’t have. My first loan repayment statement was for $504.32 cents. And their voices are no longer bright and cheery when I call.”
“Being outside of college is, scary. It’s really fucking scary. But it’s also… cool? Sometimes? But also not. Idk. I sometimes feel like college made up this fantasy world, right? Like, oh, if you need housing, you just sign up. Oh, if you need food, just go to the cafe. And for some reason, it inflates you to believe that you are an adult, that after this, you will be prepared for the real world. But it’s not that simple. Now, to get housing, you need a credit check and a cosigner plus first month/last month/security deposit. To get food, you need to buy it, make it, and make it last until the next break you have to do the process all over again. But there’s also the cooler aspect of it. It feels almost like the sheep’s cloth (is that what they even call it?) has been removed from my eyes. I’m learning, and even though I’m scared, I’m no longer terrified. I am no longer so afraid that I stop everything to keep from learning. I’m not even scared to be burned anymore (which I guess that’s what life and adulthood are full of). I’m ready to take it on, and I’m ready to fuck it up. And that’s cool. I guess.”
The characters in this series are completely fictional, however, their stories have been taken from 100% real and true accounts. These are your stories. Some have been combined with others to make a more whole character, others are actual stand alone accounts. I changed the delivery so that no one individual’s story can be identified, however, the truths of what people feel about life outside of college remains unscathed. I hope that I did your stories justice, thank you for trusting me with them to write a story that encompassed your truth.