“OH MY GOSH you make your BEST friends for LIFE at university! It’s SUCH a good time,” I said back when I was an inexperienced, overenthusiastic first year, coping with the mad rush of energy that I had never experienced before and a palpable adrenaline rush that lasted eight months. Ever since then, my inexperience has turned into regret and my adrenaline has turned into anxiety. Your four years at university can feel like a never-ending summer camp if you’re not careful, with your newfound independence and your institutional coexistence with thousands of other idiots, who are also lonely deep down, pushing you to socialize. (Shudder.) This is how it goes.
Your journey begins when you step into your stale-scented dorm room in first year and meet your roommate — the sweet and sprightly girl whom you will come to despise over the span of the next eight months — and you know your university journey is going to be ‘incredible.’ Your roommate is actually probably super nice, but it’s the sharing a space four feet apart from one another that gets your insides burning with a rage so untameable, you could kill a man.
You meet your best friend for life in your 20th century French literature class, in translation, of course. You sit together every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for an hour, having philosophical debates about Proust — and you start to believe that you and your best friend for life are the truest intellectuals and that you will never be able to build a connection like this with anyone else.
Your best friend from 20th century French literature will also immediately ghost you after your 20th century French literature final and will pretend not to see you when you wave to them when you see them on the bus listening to music without headphones on. They’d much rather be guillotined than have to deal with you.
After finding you in the laundry room, crying, for the fourth time that week, your residence advisor tells you to go join a student club so you can meet some ‘like-minded’ people. You’ve done your laundry, your roommate’s laundry, your grandmother’s laundry and your own laundry for the second time by now. After three gruelling rotations around the Nest and the Life building on every clubs day, you settle on joining the equestrian club to live out your eight-year-old dream of owning a pony. To your pleasant surprise, you are able to find the perfect pony: a 26-year-old half Morgan horse, whom you soon become best friends for life with. Two months later, Fairy has to be euthanized. You will never forget Fairy, who, on technical terms, can no longer be your best friend for life.
Over the summer, you meet someone on a dating app and decide to go on a couple dates with them. You seem to hit it off, realizing you’re in the same major and have a similar wavelength. They are also somehow able to make you laugh. Somehow, even after all the trauma you’ve experienced.
After a month, you realize you’re not over Fairy yet and you tell them that the timing is just bad. They don’t take it well and are quite offended. Two months later, you go into your 300-level biology class, when you realize that your summer flame is also now your TA.
It’s your final term of university. You have just completed co-op. Having been exposed to the harsh reality of the actual world of adulting and having a job, you are terrified to leave the cushy bubble and safe environment that university provides. You look back at your university career and all the memories you made and smile because anything is better than the suffering of the real world. You finally understand why university is supposed to be the best time of your life, a lesson Fairy tried to teach you all those years ago.