Otto Tielemans: Debt, blisters and reading: The best parts of my life

Aysen Tan

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When going to college, no one ever tells you about the true things that lie ahead. They won’t tell you about the blisters you’ll get on your feet from walking everywhere. They won’t mention the vast amount of reading you will go through on a daily basis or all the energy you will have to put into socializing so that you won’t be a loner. They probably won’t even touch on the subject about how you will probably not have enough money to afford food by the end of the semester (especially if you live in a cosmopolitan city like me).

All anyone ever says about college is that “it’s going to be the best part of your life.” And since that’s the only thing anyone ever told me; that’s the only thing I expected: the best part of my life.  

Fast forward to the present: I spend every waking moment reading or studying for class, I slather anti-wrinkle cream on my face every other second by the gallon so I won’t look too hideous, and I have spent about $650 of my $1,750 meal plan. Keep in mind I’ve only been here two and a half weeks. In retrospect, I suppose buying imported cheeses and crackers at Whole Foods wasn’t the best idea (especially since I live in the District of Columbia and everything is twice as expensive as it is back at home).  

This is definitely not what I envisioned when going to college. I expected parties every night and crazy adventures that kept me up until the early hours of the morning. I also had the crazy idea that I could keep the weight off that I lost this summer.

What I got instead was a jam packed Saturday night in which I read packets of material while simultaneously watching “Orange Is the New Black” on Netflix. Not to mention that I’ve probably gained a good five to ten  pounds since being here.

But even though obstacles pop up every day and there is always a gargantuan amount of readings assigned every night, I can’t help but feel as though I’ve entered the best part of my life. Sure, I may be broke. Sure, I may be stressed. Sure, I may have more blisters on my feet than Elizabeth Taylor had husbands, but believe me when I say that I am loving every moment of it.

I suppose part of college, like with all of life, is learning to make the best out of things. The world may have given you a bad hand of cards in the game of life, but it’s up to you to make the best out of it. And that is exactly what I plan to do. With a gargantuan amount of student debt hanging over my head, I intend on navigating my way through this fast-paced city to make the most of “the best part of my life.”   

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