Iíve given it a couple of days to sink in, but I still feel largely like I did walking out of my last class of my last year of college: ok, um, yeah. So, that was college... Uhh, not quite sure what Iím supposed to do now... ok...
For starters, Iíll retrospect. I sit in probably the only hammock on a front porch in all of west Philly (a laptop with wireless internet, a hammock, sun, and a beer in hand = nirvana), not yearning with a nostalgic heart for the misspent days of my youth, instead gathering what Iíve learned and, maybe more importantly but Iím not wise enough to say for sure, what I havenít.
Which brings me to what Iíd say is the most important change Iíve gone through since starting this whole college thing: Luke at the end of his senior year of high school wasnít introspective enough to write something like this or admit how little heís actually learned. Itís something like a modest arrogance, as little sense as that makes: confidence enough in my judgment to both make (more than occasionally rash/bad/injurious) decisions and admit my limits, at least on occasion. If I hadnít spent yesterday afternoon doing keg stands, throwing chocolate syrup all over juniors to celebrate Pennís Hey Day, and jogging blocks in boxer briefs, I might say Iíve done a bit of growing up. Letís just call it gaining a different perspective.
Best lesson: value of variety/leisure/randomness. Iíve learned more from having the audacity to travel farther than I can afford, kiss girls I shouldnít be able to get, help lead clubs Iím not even really qualified to join, talk to random strangers, and bullshit with people much smarter than me than from most of my classes. Iím not trying to brag or make myself sound like some kind of badass rebel: Iíve fucked up badly and painfully on many occasions, and the rebel thing doesnít exactly work with me being in business school and probably too scared and worried about my future to do anything other that work some random 9-to-5 desk job for the rest of my life... but I digress. The point: I need to do more random things even if I shouldnít be able to, because theyíre enjoyable and fulfilling.
Romantically, I think of the movie ďSideways.Ē Basically, itís a horrible movie with that annoying depressing guy who sucks the life out of every scene heís in. However, it has a theme I find unfortunate and accurate: people at 40 often know no more about interacting with the opposite sex than preteens. Despite a long and wonderful relationship with a beautiful, intelligent girl (sheíll read this:), women are still a frustrating enigma. I recently told one I donít intend to have a serious relationship anytime in the next decade, and Iíve developed the ďfat and baldingĒ rule: when I am fat and balding is when itís finally time to start thinking about maybe getting married. I have advanced little from the point of throwing rocks at the cute girls in preschool: now, I poke them on thefacebook.com instead.
As for interacting with other people more broadly, Iíve made a few close friends and lots of ďlighterĒ ones. As I see it now, the pointís simply to be outgoing. The keg-stand party yesterday was fun largely because someone randomly invited construction workers. Joining a frat or some other elitist bullshit club would have made me significantly worse at life, but it also would have increased the number of overall party invitations / lighter friends. Anyways, I guess the point is that I donít think thereís any reason not to be really outgoing. I may freak out some people, but I probably donít want them as friends anyways.
Iím sounding preachy even to myself, so itís probably about time to wrap this thing up...
The work thing isnít as confusing as women, but itís pretty damn incomprehensible for me. This $50,000 of educational debt has prepared me very well to do many responsible adult job things, but it forgot to change my aspirations. I think I had it right at 5 years old when I told my parents I wanted to be a snake catcher, shark killer, and secret agent. Didnít realize then that Iíd turn vegetarian for the first 2 years of college or hate the current state of American politics, but those are different stories. What remains is that I donít like wearing a shirt, let alone a suit. One of my teachers recently told me to ďfind a bunch of computer programmers and go change the world.Ē I get excited just thinking about that, but itís a lot easier said by a guy with multiple degrees than done by some kid who, in spite of his prestigious diploma, really doesnít know all that much about anything. But I digress, and the point is that I have no point: work is strange, and I guess that figuring it out will be my next adventure. I just hope it doesnít entail working 100-hour weeks behind some desk for the rest of my life.
And I guess the conclusion is that I have no conclusion. I know that I feel ready to graduate, or at least to leave Penn, but beyond that Iím not quite sure. I suppose a good start is my planned trip to Cameroon, India, and Pakistan, but other than being enjoyable and putting me in a bit more debt itís likely to do little towards long-term plans. Ditto with the option of traveling with friends to a handful of other countries afterwards, but itíll certainly at least be fun. Ok, definitely droning now: if this was a class, Iíd have fallen asleep before getting even halfway through this. Letís leave it with my answers to my own questions about whatís next: who knows, who cares, but, no matter how fat I get, even several decades from now when Iím probably bald and maybe even married, I hope to often be shirtless and need to change courses if Iím not enjoying the ride.