High school was not my “time to shine”. I had braces twice, applied eyeliner with the same width and severity as an XL-Sharpie, and had a piece of orthodontia that gave me a temporary speech impediment. I didn’t often have a “real date” to the annual dances, and my parents never ever had to worry about me causing any trouble when I was out of the house. I was happy, though, so in the end it didn’t matter. When it came time for graduation, I knew that college would be different. I would have a 90’s-movie style make over (take out the pony tail, slap a pair of contacts in, and boom, I’d be beautiful) before traveling to my future college campus. There, of course, I’d meet the man of my dreams the first day of orientation while simultaneously going through a crisis regarding my plans for the future: do I follow my dreams, or the dreams of my parents? Wait. That was still the 90’s movie. Just kidding.
I wanted to be different in college. I wanted to be effortlessly beautiful and funny. I wanted to be talented and smart and amazing and confident and all of the things I never felt like I was in high school. I arrived on campus, ready for things to be different. Within the first week of my college career, however, some sort of karma gods put down their martinis after having a good laugh and went: LOL JK this is not happening. It was in that week that I figured out pretty freaking fast that "things" would be ooooooh so similar to the years before. I would still be uncomfortably awkward, and I would not be one pony-tail shake-out away from instant popularity. Within my first week, I managed to (first) show up to a grocery store event planned for freshman dressed in a completely revealing and provocative red Jessica Rabbit-esque ensemble, truly believing that I was going to a frat party. Second, I accidentally flashed the on-campus rabbi and his minions (an old man, a freshman-age boy, and a 6-year old) in only my jeans and a lacy, purple, push-up, unbelievably anti-religion Victoria’s Secret bra. Yes, I swear that happened. Welcome to College.
The four years that followed would be filled with stalkers, awkward slip-ups (I told a guy that I “loved to eat Five Guys”. I meant the burger establishment, but his raised eyebrows and half-contained laugh made me realize instantaneously what had just happened), and that time where I mom-seatbelted a stranger by pure reflex. But I also met some of my best friends, laughed a lot, learned how to apply eyeliner correctly, and realized that just because I act extra-polite when drinking does not mean that I cover up the fact that I’m drunk. I was happy, and graduated with a feeling of excitement for the future. High school was not “my time”, nor was college. However, I was released into the wilds of the Real World like all of my much more attractive and witty friends, so there must be some hope for me, right? :)