My fellow Californians can probably relate to being asked, “why would you leave California for college?” every single time they mention where they’re from. It’s harsh. It hurts to think about the possibility of being under the warm sun with beautiful beaches; Yosemite on your left, and accessible good food and tech companies on your right. Basically, any RPI student’s dream. However, I have a very simple explanation for leaving the Golden State: I’m going back for a job anyways, so I may as well take this opportunity to create as many unique experiences as possible.
In my last notebook, I wrote about how part of me loves procrastinating. But that’s not all there is to me—it’s not like I got into RPI by being a single-faceted person. The thing is, there’s also another part of me that’s really excitable and determined to participate in all of the extracurriculars that I’m interested in. Sure, I’m on the Poly editorial board, which takes at least six hours a week, and RPI Bhangra, which takes four to six hours a week, but are these activities really enough? For me, the answer is no.
People always say that you have the chance to reinvent yourself at any point in your life; but the best space to do so is college. When you’re at RPI, you have the newfound privileges and the freedom of an adult, but none of the experience or greater responsibilities found in the real world. As an aside, I think that’s why we receive the expectations of adults and the treatment of children. It also helps that, even though this sounds like a generic college plug, there are so many resources available to help when one fails. My sister once told me that my four years are entirely unique because I would be surrounded by people of the same caliber; this is essentially the perfect social scene. I absolutely agree, and in my opinion, the people who complain about a terrible social life have two options: keep searching or transfer out. Complaining does nothing, as RPI students have yet to learn; it’s highly unlikely that, in a school of over 5,000 students, you are a special snowflake who has nobody to relate to. Contrary to popular opinion, the administration is not here to torture us. In fact, the yearly theme of resilience was selected to help us, in response to the national trend where students whine, sit back, and coddle their minds, as seen here, and as seen in the situation Hubert J. Lecuyer reported about at Yale. Of course, the biggest reason to make the best use of college is that a good deal of us sold our souls to be here. How much is your soul worth?
Taking the above into consideration, this is where the excitable part of me kicks in. I don’t know about anybody else, but it’s time for me to tell ProcrastinatoRex to beat it, because his show is at an end. In the short four years I have here at college—the land of opportunity and a place different from home—I have to start thinking about the changes and experiences I want to make…eventually.