Travel During College aka Get Your Head Out of Your Ass Part 1

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If you’re in college, you’re probably in one of these situations, depending on which year/semester, geographical and/or socio-economic condition you are in:

Questioning your path in life.

You’re busy in the pursuit of ‘Me’, trying to plumb the depths of the mystery that is ‘You’. It’s basically the result of having too much time at hand and the consequent need to fill up all that time with a worthwhile goal. You’re not sure why you are here, you’re not sure where you’re headed, you’re not even sure where you want to go and all this not knowing is making you nervous, so you’re searching full throttle for some urgent answers.

Being super competitive and an all-round dick.

You’re the alpha who wages bloody turf wars; the turf could be anything from a love interest to being teachers’ pet to that administrative post in the Nobody’s-Gonna-Care-About-In-The-Next-Five-Years Committee to being Queen Bee in the college social hive. It’s fierce, all-out war, and you’ll stop at nothing short of murder. You plot, plan and scheme as you lie awake at night, order your minions and occasionally give yourself pep talks when you find yourself alone in the bathroom.

Drowning your sorrows.

You’ve got issues. And those aren’t the regular, “Crap, I’m going to flunk this test” kind of issues. They are big. Too big for you to take on, so you drink to escape. You could be tense about student loan or be a pointy vertex in a hopeless love angle, or you secretly want to be an elephant trainer but you’re stuck in Economics 101. There’s not much you can do about things, but hell, you’ve got a strong liver and you’ll be damned if you don’t make the most of it.

Being a social butterfly.

You’re impossible to avoid. You’re everywhere, all at once- college fest, cricket field, canteen, toilet- chatting it up and being sociable. At meal times it takes you a good 20 minutes to make your way across the room- pausing at each table, dropping a joke here, slapping a back there. What’s more, you’re not picky at all. In fact, you’re relentlessly democratic in your social interaction and you even hunt down the twitchy weirdo and accost him for a daily dose of social banter.

Generally feeling rage for no good reason.

Grr… you’re mad at your college mates, you’re mad at the family, you’re mad at the Government and at the Sun for being so goddamn stubbornly hot. Bottom line is that you’re just hopping mad. At everyone. And they make you madder every time they catch a glimpse of your glowering face and back off in alarm. Nobody understands you and everything drives you up the wall. Soon, you suspect you’ll actually start growling under your breath.

Undergoing a major life transition.

This includes break ups, nasty year-backs, it could be anything from a whole bunch of life-shaking situations, but as a rule of thumb if you feel alienated from this unfeeling world and don’t see the point of anything anymore, this is you. Common symptoms include feeling lost, wanting to curl up in your bed, turn out the lights and wake up when it’s all over and you’re back home.

Indulging in substance abuse.

Not to be confused with #2, this is a broader category and covers an overdose of sex, drugs and/or booze- you can take your pick. You’re not trying to escape so much as you’re bored out of your mind. There’s a high chance you have a superiority complex that makes you smirk at all the eager kids trying so hard and being so, well… kiddish; or you didn’t think about where you’re going and now you’ve landed up somewhere you didn’t particularly want to be so now you’re just trying to kill time.

In OCD mode.

This means you’re either in love, or hell bent on topping every exam, or some sport really grinds your gears. Whatever it is that you’re obsessed about fills up the large vacuum in your life. You’re hooked: straight A’s, endless phone calls, daily gym practice. Basically you’re on mental steroids or hormonal steroids. Your favourite pastime gives you a kick and you shudder to think of how sad and unfulfilling life would be without it.

 

While these are all noble and worthy goals for a short-term dalliance, the trouble is that you think there’s more to it than that. In fact, you are convinced that your situation is “THE MOST IMORTANT THING IN THE WORLD FOR ME”. Whichever situation it is, you’ve put it at the center of your universe and labeled it the most important thing in the world and tucked it in that little box you carry around with you all the time.

 

I am a Box

 

Whichever thrilling situation you have picked for yourself and chosen to cuddle at night, the upsetting bit is, it’s eventually going to leave you. It will either go kicking and screaming or it’ll slowly fade away till one day you wake up and discover you’re alone in bed. However it plays out, at the end of it you’ll realize it’s well and truly gone.

And right about then a disturbing thought bubbles up in your head, “Dude, what the hell was I doing?

Here’s the short version: You had your head stuck up your ass and you were clucking around like a chicken.

 

I am Chicken

 

After years and years of waiting and being told not to do this and not to do that by your parents you finally had the freedom to do what you wanted and that’s what you decided to do. Smooth.

It’s heartbreaking, really. You just blew your tiny sliver of opportunity- wedged tightly between parental authority and a soul-crushing job- to travel without restriction, without agenda and for the most part without money.

It’s heartbreaking because this is the best time in your life to travel. No matter how poor, how clueless, how wet behind the ears you are, there isn’t going to be a better time when you’ll have fewer reasons holding you back.

There is really no good reason why you can’t or shouldn’t

 

Travel During College aka Get Your Head Out Of Your Ass

 

And here is why all the reasons you’ve been tallying up in your head are actually just excuses for bone-deep laziness.

 

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If you liked this, check out:

Travel During College aka Get Your Head Out Of Your Ass Part 2

How Not To Be A Human Yo-Yo Part 1

The Street Mavericks of Galle

Odd Things in Bhaktapur

 

 

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