Quite frankly, you are all children, and I’m going to tell you why.
Whilst contemplating what to do with a summer version of my advice column, revamped and re-imagined for a brand new Misc-affiliated site, I originally planned to impart some nebulous, philosophical wisdom to you, my loyal readers. But then I realized that we are—all of us—sorely in need of some practical advice.
When I was a high school senior, the majority of my close friends had already graduated, and started saying things like “High school is so easy. You’re like a small baby infant child, just learning to crawl,” or otherwise implying that my meager pre-collegiate mind was not equipped to understand their post-high school struggles.
At the time, that profoundly bothered me. Poorly disguised humble brag incoming: I worked really really hard in high school. I did every extracurricular and AP class I could cram into my noggin and schedule. So I was understandably incensed by the notion that my former classmates thought me too naive to understand the apparently complex lives that these now-elevated college freshman (not at Vassar, so I feel justified using the word that the rest of the world uses) had begun to lead. Simply put, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
And then, shortly after I moved into Josselyn House and spent a few hours crying in bed, I got it. They weren’t saying I wasn’t working hard, but simply that I lacked the life experience necessary to truly understand the universal college student vibe. I look back on my high school self and now see that I was, in fact, naive.
A similar phenomenon occurred a few months ago, when I told my parents I’d accepted an internship and would be relocating myself to Boston for the summer. For the record, I have never lived anywhere except with my parents or in a dorm. My family home is in rural Michigan, far from any bustle of a large urban area. The only time I’ve ever taken public transportation of any kind was on a family trip to Washington, D.C.
But somehow, I figured I’d move into an apartment with a few roommates (only one of whom I know personally) and make my own way in the world, probably with help from the digitized encyclopedia of YouTube, with channels like How to Adult and Struggle Meals, armed with only my wits and whatever I could cram in my parents’ SUV for the trip.
My parents (bless them) have a lot of faith in my ability to figure things out. I have no idea where this faith came from.
Don’t get me wrong, nothing catastrophic has, as of yet, transpired. But I completely did not anticipate just how difficult it is to be living without the structure of home or college. Sure, I knew, intellectually, that Boston has no Deece; that my beloved bubble would not travel with me. However, knowing that didn’t translate into any, like, actual preparedness.
We all know that everyone says that we Vassar kids aren’t prepared for the real world. I’m here to tell you that, as annoying as that statement is, it’s actually true. And I’m also here to help.
This summer, keep checking The Brewer’s Table for my weekly life lessons, as I take a crack at figuring out this whole adulting thing. Next week: the magic of budgeting.