Obviously, you might be wondering how I intend to do this when, for the first time, there's no school actually involved.
This September, there will be no evaluating of my classes, no grudgingly accepting the transition back into papers and homework and waking up at obscene hours for class. For the first fall in my conscious memory I have purchased no notebooks, pencils, or folders; I have not visited a bookstore in these last weeks let alone the NYU Bookstore in pursuit of something I forgot to get for much cheaper on Amazon three weeks ago.
In the middle of August I was having, to put it generously to myself, a wee bit of difficulty accepting that I wouldn't be returning to class. It felt like too much too quickly, too big a change, too overwhelming a concept to accept fully. I found myself, upon hearing my roommates lament "Oh my god I can't believe I have class next week", saying, "I'll trade you," words I was pretty sure I'd never hear myself say circa last April as I was eagerly counting the days to graduation.
I feel the need to clear up a misconception, by the way (hah, she wrote, as though she has so much of an internet following eagerly awaiting her next inane blathering) - I didn't graduate early because I hate NYU, or because I didn't enjoy my experience here. I did it because it made sense and it felt right to me, but it has no reflection on my NYU experience. Sure, I rag on it the way everyone does their school, but it's kind of like making fun of your family - only you can do it, when other people start in on NYU I will fiercely defend my school and the education I got there.
Yet somehow it still feels like fall. Not being a student, at present, feels in many ways like wearing the jeans that lay untouched in my closet for this entire sweltering summer - a little off and maybe not quite right, but somehow much easier than I'd expected. I described to a friend, also a new alumnus, that my sensation walking around campus was not unlike walking around an ex-boyfriend's neighborhood: familiar and easy, but somehow wrong and not a little painful.
There's an - oh my god, I cannot believe I'm saying this, kill me immediately - interesting essay we had to read in fucking Writing the Essay of all things that actually sort of adequately describes my new phenomenon, however. It's called "Shadow Cities" and basically deals with the phenomenon of all humans naturally superimposing the places of their memories on the places of their literal reality. And I think this is more it now. It's not painful to be on campus, but for the first time I'm seeing both "campus" and "Greenwich Village." And it's something I actually kind of love - that my campus, though a campus for sure by my way of thinking, never really was that. I just have to learn how to accept it as part of the city. I have to learn to see literally lower Broadway, not just "around Tisch."
And somehow, beyond thinking it might never again, what with a) there no being school and b) the absolutely BLISTERING summer, it feels like fall. I'm wearing sweaters. I'm drinking hot froufy drinks from Starbucks. And my calendar is filling up, which is always important to combatting a sense of general apathy for me.
Also, for shits and giggles, I counted: in this non-student summer, I read nineteen new books. This is not, in truth, all that much, but a once-avid reader, my school life had considerably slowed my leisure reading life. I realize that a good number of these books may have, ahem, been the novels that inspired True Blood, but in general, it's good to know I apparently still know how to engage my brain, school or not. Ah, growing up. You are a strange, strange phenomenon.