As I wrote in my last post, it feels great to be a student again. I love watching shows/films for homework, writing by hand, and interacting with other people my age. It’s nice to have some structure during my transition period as well, and UCLA gives me a lot of that with its screenwriting program. Though I love Westwood and the UCLA campus, I realized yesterday that University of Arizona will always be “college” to me, and I have no desire to relive the same experience in southern California.
In the year following my college graduation, all I wanted was to be back at UA. I missed the oppressive heat of Tucson, the weird people on campus and in the community, my friends, etc. I thought I’d return in a heartbeat if I could, but the more time I hang around UCLA, the happier I feel that I’m past that stage of life.
At UA, I wore whatever I wanted, and this is part of the reason my roommate Jen picked ASU over UA. People at UA walked around in pajamas and sweats, she said, and she wasn’t interested in looking like a slob. She wanted to be among well-groomed students with high aspirations. I had big dreams all right, but you wouldn’t have known this by glancing at my wardrobe. I lived in sweats and hoodies, and even my friends laughed at me for looking so shabby during the week. I purged all my sweats before leaving NYC, but I may as well have done so years ago, as I stopped looking so sloppy upon moving to DC and being mocked for it.
Before class yesterday, I browsed the UCLA book store, which sells many pairs of sweats. In college, I would have been all over that section. Now I’m just not interested. A lot of the students I spotted dressed the way I did at UA — without much care or thought. It’s a freeing thing for sure, but I feel so much better about my own personal presentation now, so I wouldn’t go back.
It’s slightly nerve-wracking to be at UCLA now that I’m 25. I always wonder whether others can tell that I’m not an undergrad. I may seem young, but I’m definitely not 18, and I feel older than dirt around the people at school. Either way, they’re all so wrapped up in their own lives, they don’t notice.
I went to the coffee shop an hour before class last night to have a snack and read the school newspaper. The best part of my college experience was writing for the Daily Wildcat, so I was highly amused by the front page news of UCLA’s publication:
I’m not sure “man steals from dorm” would have made the cut for the Daily Wildcat, but we were definitely guilty of publishing useless content at times. I certainly turned in columns I’d later regret, or that were clearly not my best work. That said, it’s good to know I had a solid publication backing me at UA, and I miss that aspect of undergrad most: