Go small or go home

A fresh perspective

Stephen Kolison

Every student needs to invest in a big backpack and some nice Tupperware. Aside from the lectures I attend from day to day, college has taught me that, though Rubbermaid is an expensive brand, it will get you through the toughest times. I will be real and honest in saying that I take food out of the dining halls. Many people do it. I will be the first one to say in writing that I sometimes stuff the food in containers, put them in my backpack and walk out like nothing ever happened. It got me through finals last semester and it will probably get me through midterms next week.

However, I would never do this alone. I have friends who sit next to me and laugh at the lapse of my usually classy demeanor. For some reason, they had fun watching and I had fun doing it.

Perhaps why we slightly enjoyed what happened in the dining hall was because it was simple and novel to our seemingly mundane lives. I may have had fun, however, because on some Freudian level, I may be a kleptomaniac. But a life of crime is not my thing. Even though each semester is new and we change with it, a routine inevitably sets in and but breaking from this routine has become increasingly important.

It is stifling to be cooped up in a dorm, so finding some kind of release is necessary if we want to remain sane. Partying is a clear option for a release, but I personally never found the appeal in going to parties. I am a complete shut-in and anything that is over 60 decibels will put me in shock. Nonetheless, I do like the idea behind parties. They are fun and you can’t really expect what will happen at them. And no matter what you think about parties, you can agree that they can get rather out of hand; I prefer the smaller things, the little moments in life that appear insignificant.

What I like about the smaller occurrences in college is that they are unique. Twenty years down the road you can say that you partied at school. Well, so did you and everyone else. Yet, not everyone will say that they ran out of a Bible study with ice cream because they were afraid to meet new people. The number of times that happens is what also makes them unique. You can be guaranteed that a party will happen at some point during the weekend, but you cannot be guaranteed that you will run into your professor in public and talk about “House of Cards.” I will always appreciate my lazy days watching nothing but reruns and talking with friends until 3 a.m.

“I’m not having any fun here. I don’t like this school,” my friend once told me as were studying chemistry in my room. I understood immediately what she was going through. She was having one of “those” days. You know that there is never a day you shouldn’t be studying at CWRU, but it doesn’t register until you look at Blackboard and see the cluster of work that needs to be done. Then the age-old question comes out of your mouth, “Are these really supposed to be the best four years of my life?” I have had my days where this school feels like hell.

However, in times of desperation, the small things come find you. Perhaps a friend invites you to Zumba or your floor watches geese eat and narrates their thoughts. No matter what just happens to be offered to you, taking that chance makes your college experience all the more enjoyable.

Maybe the reason people associate parties with college is because they are the loudest and most obvious aspects. The louder moments always overshadow the quieter ones and can warp thinking: If you’re not out there doing something big, then you aren’t doing it right. Letting the minor moments in just improves what should be “the best four years of your life.”

Stephen Kolison is an undeclared first-year student, or in his own words, “pre-unemployment”. When not writing, he performs with IMPROVment and binges on Netflix.