It’s strange to look back and ponder your formal self. Maybe someday I’ll stop considering the Zane from a couple years ago as a complete and total idiot, maybe that’s life’s Moment of Zen, but I have yet to cross that threshold.
Going straight to college as an 18-year-old was a terrible idea for me. Back then my mind was a twisted knot of misguided ideals and mangled expectations. Adolescence can only be described as a tempest, a hormonal storm that drives all in its midst to a certain level of insanity. Some of us weather this maelstrom with only minor difficulties. Others, such as myself, allow it to rip us around mercilessly like a leaf in a hurricane.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned thus far in life is that things rarely fall into place as you expect. Some of us need to spend a year working in a freezing cold wholesale steel warehouse, carrying heavy beams around all day and coated in a semi-permanent film of filth, to realize that school is important.
Alas, I still wrestle with the storm. My propensities toward disorganization, procrastination and stupidity still occasionally get the best of me. There is no stark division between youth and maturity, and sometimes I still long for days when I gave no heed to consequence.
Two years ago the idea of downing an ungodly amount of cheap wine and transforming from my placid self to my raving alter ego, the self-proclaimed the Man Tiger, before climbing to the top of King Soopers and roaring at unsuspecting customers was synonymous with a good time. Now I can barely take two shots without an accompanying and terrifying premonition of a hangover, not to mention the internal cringe I feel when reliving some of my past actions.
Sometimes I want to be Peter Pan and never grow up. Other times I wish I was like my friend Jordan, who at 16 was more mature than I’ll probably ever be. Graduation is a time to ponder such dualities. I shall receive a piece of paper and everything will change, regardless of whether or not I want it to.
I’m not sure about my fellow graduates, but this whole thing fills me with an unreal combination of terror and excitement and I don’t really know how to handle it. I have some serious decisions to make, ones that will have a lasting effect on my whole life. Choosing what to watch on Netflix is a daunting task for me, so any decision with more weight than that fills me with dread.
Back when I was a psychotic teenager, I had the typical and deluded dreams of greatness that are endemic to a society where every child wants to be the president. Fame and fortune, however, are not sufficient goals in and of themselves; I’d rather be happy than rich.
I’m not sure where life will take me, or even where I want it to. All I know is that this has been fun while it lasted. The future is a frightening, thrilling blank slate, and it’s time to move on.
Zane Womeldorph was a journalism and political science major. He wishes all his fellow graduates luck.