This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
~Polonius’ advice to Laertes in Shakespeare’s Hamlet
Trust the words for whatever value they may have, but know that they never have more meaning until you’ve learned the lesson for yourself.
Having spent a couple days back on my old college grounds this weekend, I might feel jealous but wiser; more outgoing but nostalgic. In fact, I had a great many memories flash back where I had all of those emotional reactions attached to the stories I could have told. I can feel an air of youthful energy on that campus that compares to nowhere else I have been. I fought the attachment longer this weekend than I have ever. (I didn’t realize classes begin tomorrow. Otherwise, I can’t believe I didn’t just try to stick around another day to get that electric feeling of the first day.) I never really put together any advice for anyone going to college, though I remember hearing a fair share of advice from others. The few times I tried to verbalize my “must dos”, I began telling stories rather than getting to any “Top” lists.
I suppose what do wish I could have realized early on was how a college weekend (slightly modified?) with your parents or family can be quite rewarding (though difficult as that may be for you to risk, of course). I hear often from my mother’s side about how your family exists to embarrass you in the best ways possible. I didn’t take the risk of letting my parents in close enough to my college life, and I think I could have changed that fairly easily if I had tried. A weekend of Big Ten sports, a weekend of tailgate… I don’t know what would have been ‘perfect’, but I appreciate how supportive my parents and siblings were for all that time I spent exercising my brain. Yet, I don’t have a single picture of us decked out in my school colors and on my campus.
As I try to close make sense of the blur of moving in my brother, I have to look forward to a new chapter in my own life — the first of the work years. As much as I would like to advertise jealousy all over my online statuses, I know that I will face challenges better if I welcome them head-on as opposed to keeping some blinders over my eyes. I am very pleased to have taken on a position as an English/READING TA (caps for the real focus of the title). I will be taking on a lot of responsibility and I welcome a new challenge. There is so much about reading that even high schoolers can learn from… and even I am just getting at the surface so far. Shakespeare may be on my plate pretty soon.