After this semester, all I feel is tired.
I’ve hit that part of a college education when you run your face into a wall and hold that moment of insecurity right in front of your face. I realize that after this college thing is all done—I might be just as much of a fuck-up as I was four years ago. That maybe I missed the message and I’m headed down the worn road of mediocrity.
I’ve been up later at night than ever before in my life, and been up earlier than ever before. I have become, in my senior year, one of those students who merely floats from class to class, sort of spewing papers out of my fingers. I’ve made my entire college career about running closer and closer to The Edge, and this semester was no exception, I’m just afraid I’m running out of breath.
What you’ve got to understand is that I can’t stop. As tired as I might be—lungs pounding from running hard in every direction—there is a thrill to it that as much of a high as any narcotic you can find. All around this campus, there are college kids living college lives who are slowly committing suicide through boredom. They run no risks. They take no chances. They are casualties of life, scared to do anything except sit in their dorms and have moderate fun.
But the high of running wild comes at an expense. While I might be little more than a sleep-deprived carcass, the character I have created through my work over the past four years at Augustana has been built walking the hard road. It gets old waking up with wine or whiskey or beer rotting your breath on a Wednesday morning. Your body aches from the sleep you should have been getting but weren’t because you were up smoking pot with the rock band you’re supposed to be researching for your independent study.
It’s a sick twist of fate that burns us youth, we proud college misfits who have all the channels of an adult with the minds of a retarded teenager. The real chance I’ve taken is that in all this running, I have forgotten that I have begun to age. Soon there will be a day when it’s not cool to be drunk on a Tuesday night with rock bands. Soon there will be a day when flirting with hot freshman girls will be creepy. Soon there will be people who stare through this character I’ve created and see nothing more than a childish college burnout who is brutally afraid of growing up so he digs his heels into the foundations of youth, trying to preserve something beautiful by kicking dirt on it.
I want to be boring.
I want to have moderate fun.
I want certainty.
I want to do right, just not right now.