I sit on the very back row in my 100-level geography class, contemplating life.
I’m wearing a beanie to cover my mangy hair and a hoodie I feel like I could disappear in. I only dress like this on days like today, when I wake up 5 minutes before I needed to leave for my 8 am final exam.
It’s only 9 am, but I’m eating Doritos. They aren’t a normal breakfast food for me, but right before class I saw someone carrying a full-sized bag of them and the craving struck like lightning.
I’m hearing a little of what my professor wants us to know about urban sprawl, America, the 1950s . . . seems like I’ve heard it all before in other classes, so my brain doesn’t want me to take notes (as usual). So I contemplate my existence, my future, and the past semester as I eat.
Why do I have such a bad grade in this class? Why do I hate it so much? Is it because I’ve skipped at least once, sometimes 2 times a week? Is it because when I actually come, I sleep the whole time? Is it because it’s an enormous class and I don’t feel like anything I do in here matters? Is it because I hate the assignments that are 40% of my grade and honestly don’t have anything to do with the material we are supposed to learn in this course? I think that in the end, I just don’t care enough.
That’s why I’m here, on the last day of class, sitting in the back row once again, dressed like a hobo, eating Doritos for breakfast, and later, nodding off and waking up to the sound of my own slightest snore. I’m a lazy, finals-ridden college student cliché.
I picture myself as a professor one day, sitting in my office, conversing with a student over an assigned paper. I’m dressed professionally, I have that enthusiastic-about-education gleam in my eye, and the sun shines through the window onto my book-laden desk.
I’m not even really planning to become a professor; I’m studying to be high school teacher, and not even doing so well at that right now.
But, could I see myself there? Yes. Am I anywhere close right now? Not really. But does that mean I can’t get there? Of course not!
I may not be where I want to be, I may not be how I want to be, and I may not be who I want to be right now. Sometimes I’m just barely getting through.
And that’s OK.
It’s easy to think that just getting by is NOT okay. Don’t we want to excel? To flourish? To shine? Of course. That would be nice. In fact, I feel like I have excelled in one of my classes semester—my writing class, which I love and care about far more than I could ever care about a basic-level geography class.
So, even though it’s not ideal, isn’t enough that I even stuck with the class despite it being the bane of my existence the whole semester? Isn’t that worth something?
I’m not where I want to be right now, and that’s OK.