Yep, no typo! In England, when I went to University/College I kept pronouncing it as ‘collage’ and I wasn’t 100% sure why. It just sounded so much more fun but I knew there was a reason behind it. Dear Students, this story has no hyperlinks. Just read it and enjoy…
It was during my 2nd year of Business School that it hit me. College was more like a collage of people, environments, textures and a new way of magnifying my best. It was like all the things I never even knew existed, suddenly came true. I met insanely cool people who actually ‘got me’ and let me be myself along with a fantastic sense of freedom and acceptance. See the thing is, when I’m restricted in any way, I physically cave. I actually wilt like a bouquet of $3.99 flowers after an incredibly bad Valentine’s Day. Want me at mid terms for 9am? I’ll show up at 1043am and fail the exam. Want me to head the class for a national marketing competition against the rest of the planet? I’ll nail it with an A+! With this said, my life was never about the restrictions because I didn’t know I was embellished in them until I went to University. Yet it was at Uni that I realized I had no limits so unleashed my brain without judgments from anyone!
I’d like to say that I met some of my lifelong friends at University but I didn’t. I met incredible friends who I adore to this day. We’ve not really kept in touch but once in a blue moon, we Facebook tag each other. Yet these friends…they were the full mix of my collage as we now know it. They did not tell me off when I sprinted (yes, actually sprinted) over a bird because I ran too fast and physically ran over the poor little thing. They did not ridicule me when I fell on the bird while we attempted a burial for his RIP. I didn’t get screamed at when I knocked the dishes and they went flying out the window and smashed 30ft below (yes, every single one) at the start of a dinner party. No one told me to speak slowly or shut up for incessantly talking – not once. I wasn’t shouted at when I got stuck up a 60 ft statue and couldn’t get down at 4am when we went to see the Temptations. I was never picked on because I wore an electric blue coat with massive shoulder pads (achingly awful). I wasn’t belittled because I was so (paranoid) skinny with massive curly hair that I actually resembled a toothbrush. I was not pointed at and laughed because I suggested, as course leader, that we should only have project assignments vs exams since we’ll not be taking exams when we get jobs – we’ll be working on campaigns and we need to be realistic. They agreed and we did campaign work instead!
I was listened to and understood at collage. The quirkier I became, the more I grew into myself. See here’s the deal: I’m serious lateral, left brain thinker, with chronic synesthesia and absolutely zero filter, every night is a lucid dream and I (no doubt) have undiagnosed tourettes. Put it all together and it’s an interesting brain to have, especially if you didn’t know you had it. Yet put me in University surrounded by a ton of fashion, marketing and creative student friends, I excelled at now being…me.
And this, young student reader gals, is what makes the cookie crumble. You’re going to educate yourself not just in academic terms or expansion of interests; you’re there to create your own collage and see what makes your personality growth picture tick. The more people are acting differently, do not wilt nor judge. Embrace it because you may end up meeting someone like me who needed that extra kick up the rear to see exactly how colorful I was, how my theories and answers did make logical sense and how unique collages grow that intertwine you and your college pals. Or that person may just be you and you didn’t even know it.
Don’t do two things though: Do NOT climb a statue at 4am because it’s funny for a second but not when you’re really stuck. Also don’t ever wear full length electric blue coats with shoulder pads. They will never ever come back into fashion. Trust me!