How’s it going, college student? It’s only been a few weeks, but I’ve already seen you grow up a little more each time we talk. It’s the short texts, the lack of phone calls home, the excitement you get when you’re on the way back to school that shows me not just how busy you are, but how much you love Binghamton.
It’s eery how much you remind me of myself after my first few weeks at Oswego (woah - enough m’s? Holy alliteration, Batman). Come on, even our first frat parties were the same! I remember I couldn’t get enough of everything college - the the people, the classes, the parties. I was energized by it all. I know you feel it now too - that cliche feeling you think only belongs in movies or cheesy TV shows, the feeling a select few have in high school but is most rewarding in college; it’s the feeling of knowing you’re right where you belong at this time in your life.
You had a few bad times at what are suppose to be memorable high school experiences. Each time, I wanted to wring the neck of some pathetic kid who did you wrong, who had already peaked in high school and would probably still treasure his football jersey or her prom dress as their most prized possession well past the age of 35. Each time, I told you the same thing. Just wait. Just wait because, compared to college, high school is an insignificant, distant, awkward memory.
I’m so proud of you for the person you’ve become. It doesn’t seem like that long ago you had shaggy hair and stood at a modest 5’2, shy mannerisms holding you back from reaching out to people. I don’t even remember when it happened, but all of a sudden you were as tall as Dad, spiking your hair and bantering confidently with everyone you met. You can shoot politics, business, the shit. Ryan and I have to beg you to clear your social calendar to watch Community with us.
There’s a lot of pressure on you to transfer to Cornell next year. How many statistics of starting salaries can various family members throw in your face? Did you notice that Cornell students make significantly more than SUNY graduates? Did you know you’d be a fool to not transfer?
Don’t listen to them. Yeah, I’m serious.
There’s a lot more to life than a title on a degree. If it’s what you want, then go for it. But if you feel like you finally found your place, then don’t. Life is about the relationships you have with people, the experiences that build you as a person, the outlook you have on life itself. You will shine wherever you are, but you’ll be a hell of a lot happier if you’re somewhere you love. Your intellect will take you places regardless of the school on that diploma.
You’re 18 now. Technically, you’re a man. But you should realize, you’re a lot more than that - you’re THE man. Men can make their own choices. And they’ll always have big sisters to back them up.
Love you bro,